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INTERCOURSE BETWEEN INDIA 

AND 

THE WESTERN WORLD 



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INTERCOURSE BETWEEN 

INDIA 

AND THE 

WESTERN WORLD 



FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE 
FALL OF ROME 



BY 



H. G. RAWLINSON, M.A., I.E.S. 

Professor of English at the Deccan College, Poona 

Author of Baktria, The History of a Forgotten Empire, 

Indian Historical Studies, etc. 



Cambridge : 

at the University Press 
1916 




PREFACE 

I HAVE attempted, in this monograph, to 
furnish a succinct account of the intercourse 
between India and the Greco-Roman world from 
the earliest times to the fall of Rome. This 
subject has never, so far as I am aware, been dealt 
with as a whole in any English work. Yet it is 
replete with interest to the student of Hellenism 
in its wider and more neglected aspects, and to 
Orientalists, who depend largely upon references in 
Greek and Roman authors for information about 
many obscure points of Indian History. 

I have, so far as possible, consulted every 
passage bearing upon India in Roman and Greek 
Literature. Many, but not quite all, of these 
passages have been collected, annotated, and 
translated by the late Dr J. W. McCrindle, in his 
six valuable volumes of translations of such 
references. On these the present monograph is 
very largely based, though I have, in nearly every 
case, referred to the original text rather than to 
the translation. 



vi Preface 

The difficulties of a work of this kind are 
considerable in India, where up-to-date libraries 
are few and far between, and the verification of 
references is proportionately tedious and laborious. 
I owe, therefore, a special debt of gratitude to 
Professor E. J. Rapson, who has read through my 
proofs, made numerous suggestions and corrections, 
and assisted me in many ways; to Dr P. Giles, 
Master of Emmanuel College, for criticisms and 
references; and lastly, to the authorities of the 
University Press, for their unfailing courtesy and 
promptitude. The map is reproduced by kind 
permission of Messrs Longmans, Green and Co.; 
the coin plate was prepared at the British Museum, 
under Professor Rapson's directions. The photo- 
graphs are produced with the permission of the 
Director General of Archaeology, with the excep- 
tion of the Javanese plate, which I owe to Mr 
H. J. Lewis, of the Atelier at Soerabaia. 

H. G. RAWLINSON. 

POONA, I916. 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGE 

I. From the Earliest Times to the Fall of 

Babylon i 

II. The Persian Period. Herodotus : Ktesias 16 

III. The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes . . 33 

IV. Greek and Semi-Greek Dynasties of the 

Panjab 69 

V. The Ptolemies 88 

VI. India and the Roman Empire . . . 101 

VII. India and the Roman Empire (continued) . 127 

VIII. The Effects of the Intercourse between 

India and the West « 155 

Bibliography ...... 181 

Index 183 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

A Hindu ship arriving at Java . . frontispiece 

Asoka Pillar (Indo-Persian) . . . to face p. 64 

Indo-Greek and Indian Coins (with descrip- 
tions) between pp. 84 and 85 

Kuvera (from an Indo-Greek sculpture) to face p. 154 

MAP 
India and Central Asia .... at end 



ERRATA 

P- 5» 1- 7 f oy Tamralipti read Tamralipti 

p. 17, footnotes, 1. 7 for Banbury read Bunbury 

p. 25, 1. 15 for Uttarakuru read Uttara-kuru 

p. 27, 1. 4 for Paschddangulajas read Paschddangulajas 

p. 47, footnotes, 1. 4 for Sakuntala read Sakuntala 

1. 7 for TAe Tamils a Hundred years ago read T^e 
Tamils eighteen hundred years ago 
p- 59. footnotes, 1. 1 /or Kalanus read Kalanos 
p. 90, footnotes, 1. 4 for Rhinocolura read Rhinokolura 
p. 100, 1. 20 for Seleucids read Seleukids 
p. 142, footnotes, 1. 6 for Lo'eb read Loeb 
p. 162, 1. 19 for Takhasila read Takshasila 

for Antalkidas read Antialkidas 
p. 163, footnotes, 1. 5 for P animus read Panemus 
p. 164, footnotes, I. 1 for Scythic Kings read Scythic Coins 
p. 170, 1. 23; p. 172, 1. 3; p. 174, 1. 3 for Kalidasa read Kalidasa 



CHAPTER I 

FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE FALL 
OF BABYLON 

* Quinquiremes of Nineveh from distant Ophir 
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine : 
With cargoes of ivory, and apes and peacocks, 
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet, white wine.' 

J. Masefield. 

From prehistoric times, three great trade- 
routes have connected India with the West. The 
easiest, and probably the oldest of these, was the 
Persian Gulf route, running from the mouth of the 
Indus to the Euphrates, and up the Euphrates to 
where the road branches off to Antioch and the 
Levantine ports. Then there was the overland 
route, from the Indian passes to Balkh, and from 
Balkh either by river, down the Oxus to the 
Caspian, and from the Caspian to the Euxine, or 
entirely by land, by the caravan road which skirts 
the Karmanian Desert to the north, passes through 
the Caspian Gates, and reaches Antioch by way of 
Ktesiphon and Hekatompylus. Lastly, there is 
the circuitous sea route, down the Persian and 
Arabian coasts to Aden, up the Red Sea to Suez, 

R. I. I 



2 From the Earliest Times 

and from Suez to Egypt on the one hand and Tyre 
and Sidon on the other. It must not be supposed, 
of course, that merchandise travelled from India 
to Europe direct. It changed hands at great 
emporia like Balkh, Aden or Palmyra, and was 
often, no doubt, bartered many times on the way. 
This accounts for the vagueness and inaccuracy 
of the accounts of India which filtered through to 
the West in early times. A story is always vastly 
changed in passing through many hands. 

Trade between the Indus valley and the 
Euphrates is, no doubt, very ancient. The earliest 
trace of this intercourse is probably to be found in 
the cuneiform inscriptions of the Hittite kings of 
Mitanni in Kappadokia, belonging to the fourteenth 
or fifteenth century B.C. These kings bore Aryan 
names, and worshipped the Vedic gods, Indra, 
Mitra, Varuna, and the Asvins, whom they call by 
their Vedic title Ndsatyd. They were evidently 
closely connected, though we cannot yet precisely 
determine how, with the Aryans of the Vedic Age, 
who were at that time dwelling in the Panjab 1 . 
It has been claimed that the word Sindhu, found 
in the library of Assurbanipal (668-626 B.C.), is 
used in the sense of " Indian cotton/' and the 
word is said to be much older, belonging in reality 
to the Akkadian tongue, where it is expressed by 

1 These names were discovered by Prof. Hugo Winckler 
on a cuneiform tablet at the Hittite capital of Boghazkoi, 
in 1907. See Ed. Meyer in vol. 42 of Kuhn's Zeitschrift, 
and the discussions by Oldenburg, Keith, Sayce, and 
Kennedy in J.R.A.S. 1909, pp. 1094-1119. 



to the Fall of Babylon 3 

ideographs meaning "vegetable cloth 1 ." Assur- 
banipal is known to have been a great cultivator, 
and to have sent for Indian plants, including the 
"wool-bearing trees" of India. At any rate, we 
know that the cotton trade of western India 
is of great antiquity. The Indians, when the 
Greeks first came into contact with them, were 
dressed in "wool grown on trees 2 ." In the Rig Veda, 
Night and Dawn are compared to "two female 
weavers 3 ." We may perhaps trace to this source 
the Greek aivhoiv, the Arabic satin (a covering), 
and the Hebrew sadin*. Similarly the Hebrew 
karpas and the Greek Kapirao-os come from the 
Sanskrit karpasa. Logs of Indian teak have been 
found in the temple of the Moon at Mugheir (the 
" Ur of the Chaldees ") and in the palace of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, both belonging to the sixth century B.C., 
and we know that the trade in teak, ebony, sandal- 
wood and blackwood, between Barygaza and the 
Euphrates, was still flourishing in the second cen- 
tury a.d. 5 In the swampy country at the mouth of 
the Euphrates, nothing but the cypress grows well. 
On the obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 860 B.C., are 
apes, Indian elephants, and Baktrian camels ; and 

1 Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, 1887, p. 138. Max Miiller, 
Physical Religion (1891), p. 25. This has been since doubted, 
however. 

2 Herod, in. 106. 3 Rig-Veda, 11. 3. 6. 

4 Mentioned in Isaiah in. 23, among the foreign luxuries 
imported into Judaea. The A.V. translates it " fine linen/' 
Linen and cotton are often confused in ancient literature. 
Flax, of course, came from Egypt. 

5 Periplus Maris Erythraei, § 36. 

1 — 2 



4 From the Earliest Times 

in one of the Jataka stories, called the Baberu 
Jataka 1 , we hear of Indian merchants who took 
periodical voyages to the land of Baberu (Babylon) . 
There were very few birds in that country, and on 
their first visit the merchants brought with them 
an Indian crow, which excited great admiration. 
But on a subsequent voyage they took a won- 
derful performing peacock, and the poor crow 
found himself quite eclipsed ! 

Indians appear in those days to have been 
experienced sailors. Early Indian literature con- 
tains abundant references to ships and sea-faring, 
and bears testimony to the skill and daring of 
Hindu mariners in remote times. There are many 
allusions in the Rig Veda to voyages by sea 2 . In 
the longest of these passages, we hear of voyages 
to distant islands, and galleys with a hundred oars 3 . 
Evidently from early days the Indian seamen built 
ships larger than those usually employed even at 
a much later date in the Mediterranean. In the 
story of the invasion of Ceylon, probably in the 
sixth century B.C., by the Bengal prince Vijaya 
and his followers, we hear of a ship large enough to 
hold over seven hundred people 4 . This may be 
an exaggeration, but references to ships holding 

1 Trans. Cowell and Rouse (Cambridge, 1907), III. p. 83. 
This tale probably dates from the fifth century B.C. Professor 
Minayef first drew attention to this point. 

2 e.g. Rig Veda, 1. 25. 7, 56. 2, 97. 7, 116. 3 ; 11. 48. 3 ; 
vn. 88. 3, etc. Buhler, Origin of the Brahma Alphabet, p. 84. 

3 Rig Veda, 1. 116. 3. 

4 Mahavamsa. Tr. Tumour, Ch. vi fin. 



to the Fall of Babylon 5 

three 1 , five 2 , and even seven 3 hundred people are to 
be found in the Jataka stories. Indeed, Buddhist 
literature in particular abounds in allusions to 
sea-voyages, and we gather that traders visited 
Babylon, Ceylon, and the Golden Chersonese 
(Suvarnabhumi)^. The chief ports were Champa 
and Tamralipti on the east coast, and Bharukaccha 
and Suppara on the west 5 . The exports in which 
they dealt were various kinds of birds and beasts, 
including, curiously enough, the valuable Sind 
horses 6 , ivory, cotton goods, jewels, gold, and 
silver. Emigration was not uncommon. One of 
the most interesting of these early references to 
sea-borne traffic is to be found in the Kevaddhu 
Sutta 7 , where we read how long ago merchants 
sailed far out of sight of the coast, taking " shore- 
sighting " birds, which were released from time to 
time, in order that they might guide the mariners 
to land. This custom, which reminds us of the 
familiar episode of the story of Noah, is mentioned 
by Pliny 8 and Kosmas Indikopleustes as existing 
among the Sinhalese. 

1 Cambridge ed. II. 128 (Valahassa Jataka). 2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. iv. 138 (Supparaka Jataka). For the whole 
subject, see Mukerji, Indian Shipping, Ch. in (Longmans, 
1912). 

4 Mahajanaka Jataka, Cambridge ed. vi. 32 ; Sankha 
Jataka, ibid. vi. 15. 

5 See e.g. the Supparaka Jataka, Cambridge ed. iv. 138. 

6 Kundaka-Kucchi-Sindav a- Jataka, Cambridge ed. 11. 287 
et passim. 

7 Rhys Davids, J.R.A.S. 1899, p. 432. Probably fifth 
century B.C. 8 N.H. vi. 22. 



6 From the Earliest Times 

The Persian Gulf trade was at first principally in 
the hands of the Chaldaeans, a troublesome nation, 
given to piracy, but they were exterminated 
in 694 B.C. by Sennacherib with the aid of 
a great fleet which he built upon the Tigris. 
Sennacherib, after breaking up this nest of pirates, 
sent them to dwell in Gerrha, where the heat was 
so fierce that they were forced to use blocks of 
salt to build their houses 1 . The trade of the 
Persian Gulf then fell into the hands of the ubi- 
quitous Phoenicians, a colony of whom, according 
to Justin 2 , had settled in the Babylonian marshes, 
having been driven out of their own land by earth- 
quakes. Abundant evidence of the presence of 
these merchants was visible in the days of Strabo 
on the Bahrein Islands, at the mouth of the Persian 
Gulf 3 . These remains have lately been excavated 
and many interesting relics were recovered 4 . 

The Bahrein Islands were the port of call 
where ships took in water before setting sail for 
India, as the inhospitable Mekran coast had no- 
thing to offer them. The immense trade with all 
nations carried on by the Phoenicians may be 
estimated by studying the remarkable passage in 
which the prophet Ezekiel 5 prophesies the over- 
throw of the great city of Tyre in 573 B.C., by 

1 Strabo, Geog. xvi. 53. 2 Justin, xvni. 3. 2. 

3 Geog. xvi. 3. 3-5. He says the shores were dotted with 
Phoenician temples. 

4 They are in the Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay. See 
the Report, Archaeological Survey, 1912-13. 

5 Ch. xxvii et seq. * 



to the Fall of Babylon 7 

Nebuchadnezzar II. " Tarshish was thy mer- 
chant by reason of the multitude of thy riches : 
with silver, iron, tin and lead, they traded for 
thy wares. . . . Dan also, and Javan, going to 
and fro, occupied in thy fairs : bright iron, cassia 
and calamus were in thy market. . . .And in their 
wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, 
and lament over thee, saying, ' Who is there like 
Tyre, like her that is brought to silence in the 
midst of the sea ? When thy wares went forth 
out of the seas, thou filledst many peoples ; thou 
didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multi- 
tude of thy riches and thy merchandise/ " Hero- 
dotus refers to the Phoenician ships as "taking 
to long voyages, loading their ships with Assyrian 
and Egyptian wares 1 /' 

In 606 B.C. came the overthrow of the Assyrian 
empire, and Babylon took the place of Nineveh 
as queen of western Asia. In the crowded market- 
places of that great city met the races of the world, 
— Ionian traders, Jewish captives, Phoenician 
merchants from distant Tarshish, and Indians from 
the Pan jab, who came to sell their wares. " At 
Babylon/' says Berosus, " there was a great 
resort of people of various races (noXi) 7r\r)dos 
avhptov a\\o€0v(ov) , who inhabited Chaldaea and 
lived in a lawless fashion." We have already 
referred to the Jataka story of the Indian 
merchants who went to Babylon. A Babylonian 
colony may have sprung up on the borders of 

1 Herod. 1. 50. 



8 From the Earliest Times 

India, for Strabo tells us that the followers of 
Alexander found at Taxila a marriage-market 
•conducted on the well-known Babylonian principle 1 . 
The intercourse between India and the Semitic 
nations was, however, mostly carried on by sea. 
The journey from the denies of the Hindu Kush 
to the Mediterranean ports was long and dangerous: 
the mountains, the deserts, and the many wild 
tribes which lay in the path, presented an almost 
insurmountable barrier. The old story of the 
invasion of India by Semiramis is, of course, a 
fable, and emanates from the notorious Ktesias 2 . 
There is, however, abundant evidence that such 
a route existed from very early times. An axe- 
head of white jade, which could only have come 
from China, has been found in the second city of 
Troy 3 . " The most ancient part of Indian art," 
says a recent critic, " belongs to the common 
endowment of early Asiatic culture which once 
extended from the Mediterranean to China and 
as far south as Ceylon, where some of the most 
archaic motifs survive in the decoration of pottery. 
To this Mykenaean facies belong all the simpler 
arts of woodwork, weaving, metalwork, pottery, 
etc., together with a group of designs including 
many of a remarkably Mediterranean aspect, 

1 Strabo, Geog. xv. i. 61. 

2 McCrindle, Ancient India, p. io, note. The story is 
told at length in Diodorus Siculus, n. 16-20. Semiramis is 
probably Sammurammat, wife of Adad-Nirari IV, 810-782 B.C. 
She never went near India, or, indeed, east of the Tigris 
valley. 3 Schliemann, Ilios, p. 240. 



to the Fall of Babylon g 

others more likely originating in western Asia. 
The wide extension and consistency of this culture 
throughout Asia in the second millennium B.C., 
throws important light on ancient trade inter- 
course at the time when the eastern Mediterranean 
formed the western boundary of the civilized 
world 1 ." No doubt the caravans travelled from 
immemorial times to the great emporium of 
Baktra, where the roads from India, China, and 
the West converged : there the cargoes were 
shipped on to rafts and floated down the Oxus to 
the Caspian, and thence, partly by land and partly 
by river, to the Euxine. Or else, travelling entirely 
by land, the merchants followed the great road 
which still skirts the Karmanian Desert to the north, 
passes through the Caspian Gates, and crossing 
the Euphrates at Thapsacus, ends at Antioch and 
the Levantine ports 2 . 

The third, and perhaps the most important of 
the trade-routes between India and the West, was 
that which ran from the mouth of the Red Sea to 
India up the Arabian coast. Its importance lies 
in the fact that it linked India not only to the gold- 
fields and the fabulously wealthy incense country 
of southern Arabia and Somaliland, but to Egypt 

1 Coomaraswamy, Arts and Crafts of India and Ceylon 
(Foulis, 1913), p. 40. See also the Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, 
1914, p. 385 ff. The most remarkable example is that of the 
deer with four bodies and a single head. This design, found 
all over India, from the Ajanta Caves to Tanjore, is figured 
on a Chalcidian vase of the sixth cent. B.C. (Morin Jean, Dessin 
des Animaux en Grece, fig. 156). 

2 Strabo, 11. 1. 15. 



io From the Earliest Times 

and Judaea. Through Judaea, Indian goods found 
another outlet, by way of the adjacent ports of their 
allies of Tyre and Sidon, to the Mediterranean. 

For unknown years the Egyptians had traded 
in the Red Sea, fetching spices from the " land of 
Punt," and from Arabia Felix. No doubt from 
time to time Indian goods were brought in Arabian 
vessels to the ancient emporium of Aden. But 
the Egyptians were poor sailors. About the 
thirteenth century before Christ, however, a great 
impetus to the Red Sea trade was given, if we may 
trust the Jewish chroniclers, by the Phoenicians. 
David, king of Judah, had conquered Edom, and 
had thrown open to the Jews the valuable ports of 
Elath and Ezion Geber 1 . He had also formed an 
alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre. Solomon, on 
his accession, suggested to Hiram's son the pro- 
priety of establishing a Phoenician trading station 
in the Red Sea, and the Tyrian monarch, nothing 
loth, equipped a fleet of " ships of Tarshish 2 /' at 
Ezion Geber. The " navy of Tarshish " made a 
triennial voyage to the East, bringing back with 
them a vast quantity of gold and silver, ivory, 
apes, peacocks, and " great plenty of almug trees 
and precious stones 3 ." The port at which they 
shipped these goods was Ophir, a place famous 
for its gold, so much so indeed that the expression 

1 The modern Akaba, at the head of the eastern arm of 
the Red Sea. In Roman times the port was known as Aelana 
and the gulf as the Sinus Aelaniticus. 

2 i.e. sea-going vessels, such as were used for long voyages. 

3 I Kings ii. 26, x. 21 ; II Chronicles ix. 21, and xvn. 18. 



to the Fall of Babylon 1 1 

" gold of Ophir " became proverbial in Hebrew 1 . 
At first sight it appears as if the port of Ophir 
must have been somewhere on the Indian coast. 
India was famous for its gold. Ophir appears as 
^a)(j)dpa in the Septuagint, and Sophir is a term 
applied in Coptic to southern India. Abhira 2 
and Suppara 3 have also been proposed. Jose- 
phus even locates it in the Golden Chersonese 4 ! 
Then again, most of the articles of commerce 
mentioned in the Jewish annals have names which 
may be traced to Indian originals. Thus " ivory " 
is in the Hebrew text shen habbin 5 , " elephant's 
teeth," a literal translation of the Sanskrit ibha- 
danta. The " almug " is in Sanskrit and Tamil 
valgu. The word used for " ape " is not the 
ordinary Hebrew one, but koph, obviously the 
Sanskrit kapi. " Peacocks " are thuki-im f the 
Tamil tokei. Again, there is the curious resem- 
blance between the Mahoshadha Jataka and the 
story of the Judgement of Solomon. In the former 
story, the Buddha, incarnate in a former birth 
as vazir of the Raja of Benares, has to adjudicate 
between two women, each of whom claims a 
certain infant. Now one of the women was a 

1 e.g. Job xxii. 24, xxviii. 16, Psalm xlv. 9, Isaiah 
xiii. 12, in addition to passages already cited. 

2 Lassen, Ind. Alt. I. 538. 

3 Benfey, Indien, 30, in Ersch and Griiber's Encyclopaedia. 

4 Ant. Jud. viii. 2. For a summary and bibliography of 
the Ophir literature, see Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. 
The best authority is Glaser, Skizze der Geog. Arab. (1890), 
n. 353- Ophir is between Sheba and Havilah, Gen. x. 29. 

5 Habbin is no doubt a corruption of ibha. 



12 From the Earliest Times 

yakshini, or ghoul, who had stolen the child to 
devour it. The Buddha ordered one woman to 
seize the child's head and the other his legs and 
to pull, and each should keep what they got. The 
ghoul, of course, assents, but the rightful mother 
consents to give up her share of the infant, rather 
than hurt him. To her the Buddha gives the 
child 1 . This story, however, may have reached 
India from Babylon at the time of the Captivity 
(595-538 B.C.). Again, it is unlikely that the 
Phoenicians, bold sailors as they were, ever 
accomplished the lengthy voyage from Suez to 
an Indian port, particularly a South Indian port, 
in the primitive vessels then in use. It must be 
remembered that early mariners could not go 
very far from the coast 2 , and the voyager would 
have to go right up the Arabian and Persian coasts, 
an enormously long way. It is much more pro- 
bable that Ophir was an entrepot on the shores of 
Arabia, where Indian and Phoenician alike brought 
their wares and bartered them. " Primitive trade/' 
it has been said, " passes from tribe to tribe and 
port to port/' Ophir was probably at the mouth 
of the Persian Gulf, on the coast of Oman. Hither 
came for export the gold from the rich fields of 

1 Cambridge ed. vi. 163. The story is part of the XJmmaga 
Jataka. See also Rhys Davids, Buddhist Birth stories, Introd. 

XIV. 

2 Even the Indian mariner with his " shore-sighting " 
birds, was probably never more than fifty miles from land. 
The voyages to Babylon, Ceylon, Burma, etc. were all coasting 
voyages. 



to the Fall of Babylon 13 

southern Arabia which has made Ophir famous. 
After the death of Solomon, the trade of Ezion 
Geber gradually declined with the chequered 
fortunes of the Jewish nation. Jehoshaphat tried 
to revive it, but his fleet met with disaster 1 outside 
the port. The Edomites revolted and were re- 
pressed with difficulty, though the neighbouring 
port of Elath was in Jewish hands until its capture 
by Tiglath-pileser. 

The general effect of this intercourse upon any 
of the countries concerned was not very great. 
Articles of commerce, bearing their Indian names, 
reached, as we have already seen, the western 
world from time to time. Indian ivory became 
widely known in the Mediterranean at an early 
date. The Egyptian word ebu, like the Italian 
ebur, is clearly the Sanskrit ibha. The Greek root 
ike<f)avT-, like the Hebrew word, appears to 
represent ibha-danta, perhaps with the Arabic prefix 
el 2 . If this is so, the word is an interesting hybrid, 
betraying an Indian origin and Arabian conveyance 
to Europe. The word is found in Homer, as is 
also Kao-airepos, the Sanskrit kasfira. Tin and v 
ivory reached Greece at an early period from India. 
The " ape/' like the ivory of Solomon, also found 
its way to Egypt, if the Egyptian kafu, like the 
Hebrew koph, comes from kapi. Among sub- 
stances which originally came from Dravidian 

1 I Kings xxii. 48 ; II Chron. xx. 36. 

2 There is, however, a good deal of doubt about this 
prefix. Another possible derivation is the Hebrew eleph, ox, 
like the bos Lucas of Lucretius. 



14 From the Earliest Times 

ports, we may mention rice, which, like ivory, was 
originally brought to Europe by Arab traders. 
The Tamil arisi become aruz in Arabian and 
6pv£a in Greek 1 . Other articles of trade which 
reached Europe at various dates from Dravidian 
ports are aloes (Tamil aghil, Hebrew dhal) ; 
cinnamon (Tamil karppu, Greek KapTnov, first 
mentioned by Ktesias) ; ginger (Tamil inchiver, 
Greek ^lyyifiepis) ; pepper (Tamil pippali, Greek 
TreVepi) ; and the beryl-stone (Tamil and San- 
skrit vaidurya, Greek fiijpvXkos). The presence 
of the African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) in the 
Tinavelly district has been traced to early traders 
from Africa 2 . 

Whether India was affected in the prehistoric 
period by her contact with her nearer and more 
powerful neighbours, the Assyrians and Baby- 
lonians, is an interesting question. The Brdhmi- 
script, the parent script of India, was borrowed 
from Semitic sources, probably about the seventh 

1 See, for the history of Rice, Hewitt, R.S.A. Journal, 
1890, p. 730. 

2 Caldwell, Dravidian Grammar, vol. I. Introduction. 
Ginger, pepper and the beryl do not occur before Pliny. The 
word " crimson " (Skt. krimi, a worm, cf. vermeil) is another 
example. Practically all these articles are Dravidian, it should 
be noted, either because in early days Dravidians still held 
the west coast of India as far as Broach, or because many 
articles of commerce from South India were sent north for 
export. The Baobab may have come much later, with the 
African Mohammedans, or with the Portuguese. The latter, 
both in India and Africa, make a kind of sherbert from the 
fruit. 



to the Fall of Babylon 15 

century B.C. 1 The influence of Babylonian mytho- 
logy may perhaps be detected in Hindu literature. 
The myth of the Fish Incarnation of Vishnu in 
the Satapatha Brahmana is reminiscent of the 
Babylonian stories of the Flood 2 . Chaldaean as- 
tronomy may be responsible for the division of 
the sky into twenty-four nakshatras, and perhaps 
we may trace to this ultimate source the division 
of the week into seven days, named after the 
sun, moon, and five planets. This, however, was 
apparently borrowed directly from Alexandria by 
the Indians, as it is only mentioned in the later 
astronomical works 3 . The relation between the 
earliest Indian and Babylonian weights and mea- 
sures is obscure 4 . In architecture, India owed 
very little to Babylon, though she borrowed certain 
details of ornamentation, such as the bell-capital 
and the lion-pillar, indirectly from Assyria through 
Persia. Babylonian architecture, owing to the lack 
of good building stone, was never remarkable. 
r ' Babylonian temples are massive but shapeless 
structures of crude brick supported by buttresses 5 / 

1 Buhler, Indian Studies, in. 1895. Perhaps, as Buhler 
says, from the type of writing represented by the Moabite Stone 
(890 B.C.). But his arguments are not altogether satisfactory. 

2 This legend is as old as the Atharva Veda, and is found 
in the Avesta (Lindner, Die Iranische Flutsage, in Roth's 
Festgruss, 2. 13). For a detailed bibliography, see Macdonell's 
Vedic Index (1912), p. 430, note. 

3 Barnett, Antiquities of India, ch. vi, note. 

4 The Mand Mr any ay a of Rig Veda, vin. 72. 8 may be 
the Babylonian and Greek /avo.. 

5 Encyc. Brit, xith ed. s.v. Babylonian Art. 



CHAPTER II 

THE PERSIAN PERIOD. HERODOTUS: KTESIAS 

In 538 B.C. the last of the great Semitic 
Empires of western Asia came to an end. Cyrus 
and his Iranians stormed the walls of Babylon, 
and the Persian monarch took the title of " Lord 
of Sumer, Akkad, Babel and the four quarters 
of the world/ ' His successor, Darius, built up 
a great kingdom on the foundations thus prepared 
for him. His farsighted schemes, which gained 
for him the contemptuous epithet ^0177-77X09, The 
Pedlar, from his nobles, included the conquest of 
the remote Iranian tribes on the east of the Kar- 
manian Desert. Darius, however, did not stop 
here. The wealth of the nations of the Indus 
valley had long been known to the Assyrians and 
Babylonians, and he determined to add this 
district to his domains. He probably, like Alex- 
ander, advanced upon India from Baktra, and 
reaching the river Indus at the town of Kaspapyrus 
(perhaps Kasyapapura), " a frontier city of 
Gandhara, on the Skythian borderland/ ' says 
Hekataeus 1 , sent an expedition under a Greek 
mercenary, Skylax of Karyanda, to explore the 

1 Frag. 178. It is in the country of Paktyike, adds Hero- 
dotus (iv. 44), who twice mis-spells the word as Kaspatyrus. 
It is not to be connected with Kashmir (Kdsyapa-mira), or, 



The Persian Period. Herodotus: Ktesias 17 

river down to its mouth, and when he reached the 
sea, to sail home, examining on the way the coast- 
line and its chief features. Presumably Skylax 
had orders to find his way to the Red Sea, and 
not to return by the shorter Persian Gulf route, 
with which, probably, the Persians were already 
perfectly well acquainted. At any rate, he 
found his way, after an adventurous voyage of 
two and a half years' duration, to Arsinoe, the 
modern Suez, already used by the Egyptians for 
trade with the East 1 . From the time he took, 
we may infer that Skylax proceeded in a leisurely 
fashion, probably enquiring his way from port 
to port and trading as he went. His road must 
have lain along the old trade route to Ophir, and 
from Ophir to Aden along the Arabian coast. To 
Skylax, as far as we know, belongs the double 
distinction of having been the first Greek to visit 

of course, Kabul. Paktyike is the country of the Pakhtu, 
Pashtu, or Pathans. The town, which was later celebrated 
for its spikenard (Periplus, § 48), was probably on the Kabul 
river, which accounts for the fact that the voyagers sailed at 
first eastwards, as Herodotus says. (See Sir Aurel Stein, 
Ancient Geography of Kasmir (1889) » H. H. Wilson, Ariana 
Antiqua, p. 137 ; Lassen, Ind. Alt. 11. 630 ; Banbury, Ancient 
Geography, 1. 226, note C.) 

1 Herod, iv. 44. The date of the conquest of India by 
Darius is between 516 B.C. and his death in 486 B.C. In the 
Behistun Inscriptions (c. 516 B.C.) only Gandhara and Paru- 
paraesanna (Paropamisus) are mentioned. Indians are not 
spoken of till the Persepolis and Naksh-i-Rastam inscriptions. 
Hence the expedition took place about 510 B.C. 

r. 1. 2 



1 8 The Persian Period. 

India, and to make the Red Sea voyage. The latter 
feat was not repeated till the days of Eudoxus, 
three centuries later. The memoirs of Skylax 
have unfortunately perished, though they may have 
been utilized by Herodotus. Darius annexed the 
Indus valley and made it the twentieth satrapy of 
the Persian Empire. At that time the alluvial gold 
fields of Dardistan produced an immense quantity 
of gold, and the new province paid to the Great 
King the enormous tribute of 360 talents of gold- 
dust 1 . They also supplied a light division to 
the Persian forces. The statement of Herodotus, 
that the Persian fleet "frequented the sea," seems 
to imply that Darius considerably developed the 
sea-traffic 2 . 

The Greeks, long before the annexation of the 
Panjab by Persia, appear to have heard, in a dim 
sort of way, of India. Homer speaks of two races 
of Ethiopians, the western, or African Ethio- 
pians, and the eastern Ethiopians 3 . The word 

1 Herod, in. 97. 360 talents of gold = 20,736 lb = £1,078,272. 
No wonder the gold was soon worked out ! (Cunningham, Coins 
of Ancient India, p. 12 ff.) 

2 Mera Se toutovs TrepLTrXwcravTas, "IvSous re Kar€(TTpi\paTO 
Aaoetos, kcu tt} 6a\d<ro-r] ravrri kxparo, IV. 44. Darius tried, 

amongst other things, to re-open the Suez Canal, a project 
attempted by more than one of the Pharaohs, and 
afterwards by Ptolemy Philadelphus. Probably this was 
suggested to him by the report of Skylax on the richness of 
the Red Sea traffic. 

3 \W t'o7ras rot Si^^a ScStarai, to^aTOi avSpaiv, 

ol fikv dvao/xivov 'Yirepiovos, ol 8' aVtWros. Od. I. 23. 



Herodotus : Ktesias 19 

Ethiopian is applied by Herodotus to the dark 
Dravidians of southern India 1 , and probably even 
in the Homeric age it was thought that Asia and 
Africa united so as to enclose the Indian Ocean 
like the Mediterranean 2 . In that case there would 
be no incongruity in applying the word Ethiopian 
to the dark peoples of India and Africa alike. 
Even in those early days, Indian goods reached 
Europe, as the words eAe^as, /cacrcriTepo?, and 
criv^oiv testify. The first writer, however, to 
mention India is the father of Greek geography, 
Hekataeus of Miletus, a contemporary of Skylax 3 . 
In the fragments of his lost work, the Periegesis, 
eight Indian names occur — the Indus, the Indi, 
the city of Kaspapyrus, the country of the Gan- 
darii, the Opiae and the Kalliatiae 4 , the Skiapodes 5 , 
and the city of Aragante. From his mention of 

1 Herod, vn. 70. Ktesias also calls the Indians Ethio- 
pians. Even the late Barlaam and Josaphat, 8th cent. a.d. is 
actually described in the Preface as coming c* rrj<s ivhorepas 

2 Alexander thought the Indus was the Nile, and the 
idea of Africa joining Asia was entertained by Ptolemy. On 
the other hand the fact that many voyagers attempted the 
circumnavigation of Africa points to the fact that the belief 
was not universally held. The word " Aethiopian " is really 
applied to Abyssinia (Itiopyavan), perhaps from Atybb, incense. 

3 Fl. c. 520 B.C. Expedition of Skylax to the Red Sea, 
c. 512-510 B.C. 

* Kaliantiae in Herodotus. They are not identified. 
5 A fabulous race, who lived, however, in Libya, according 
to Ktesias. Here again India and Africa are confused. 



20 The Persian Period. 

Kaspapyrus, we may conclude that Hekataeus 
came to know of India through the narrative of 
Skylax. It is interesting to notice that the Greeks 
talked of the " Indus " and " Indians/' whereas 
the inhabitants of the country itself spoke of 
" Sindhu," " Sindhava." Later travellers noticed 
this with surprise. " Indus incolis Sindus appel- 
latus est," says Pliny, and the author of the Peri- 
plus says that the river is locally called Sinthus. 
The Persians softened the initial s, more suo, to h 
(the Avesta word is Hindu) ; the Ionians, having 
no aspirate, made the word into ""I^Sos 1 ." The 
word reached Greece through Persia. In the 
same way, the Oriental nations heard chiefly of 
the Greeks through the Ionian traders who had 
colonized the coasts of Asia Minor. The word 
for Greek in Hebrew 2 and Sanskrit is Yavana, and 
Yaund in old Persian. This must date from a 
time when the digamma was still in use. It is a 
literal transcript of 'IdFcov. Yona, the Prakrit 
word, is not, of course, derived from Yavana, but 
it is a separate rendering of *l<x>v z . 

1 Thus " India " is Greek, " Hindu " is Persian. 

2 e.g. Ezekiel xxvn. 18, Isaiah lxxi. 19, etc. The Jews 
identified the Javan of Genesis x. 2 with the Ionians. So 
Milton (P.L. 508) : 

" Ionian gods of Javan's issue held." 

3 The digamma, however, was lost as early as 800 B.C. 
Hence it is possible that both Yavana and Yona are derived 
from the old Persian Yaund. Probably the Indians heard 
first of the Ionians through the Persians. 



Herodotus: Ktesias 21 

Herodotus, the first Greek writer about India 
whose account has survived, was born in 484 B.C., 
at Halikarnassus, not far from Karyanda, the home 
of Skylax, to whom he may owe not a little of his 
knowledge. He tells us 1 that the Indians are the 
last of all the nations on the eastern side of the 
world ; for beyond the Panjab lay the limitless 
Rajputana desert, the Marusthali, or place of 
death, stretching, as Herodotus thought, to the 
end of the world. Indians, he says, are of many 
nations, each speaking a different tongue. He 
divides them, however, into two broad classes, 
the dark, barbarous nomads, living in the marshes, 
and the paler, refined Aryans of the Kaspapura 
and Pakhtu districts of northern India, whom he 
appropriately compares to their Iranian kinsmen of 
Baktria 2 . Besides these, he adds, there are other 
Indians in the far south, out of the sphere of 
Persian influence, who resemble the Ethiopians. 
These are plainly the Dravidian peoples. The 
aborigines were in his opinion degraded savages. 
Those of the marshes of the Indus wore clothes 
made of rushes, lived (like their neighbours, the 
famous Ichthyophagi of the Mekran) on raw 

1 The following information is taken from Bk in. 97-106. 
The voyage of Skylax is mentioned in Bk iv. ch. 44. 

2 Herod. 111. 102. Arrian (Indika, vi) contrasts the 
swarthy Dravidians (whom he compares to the Ethiopians) 
with the fair Aryans " who are white like the Egyptians." 
Ktesias saw two Indian men and five women " as fair as any 
in the world" (Frag. 1. §9. McCrindle). Many Pathans 
to-day are as fair as an Englishman. 



22 The Persian Period. 

fish 1 , and made rude boats out of a single joint of 
the gigantic reeds growing near the river 2 . A neigh- 
bouring tribe, the Padaei, (who may be the Bhil 
and other aboriginal races of central India, where 
such practices were common till quite recent 
times 3 ), even killed and ate their sick relatives. 
This disgusting custom, which originates in a 
religious superstition, was also carried on by certain 
Skythian tribes 4 . Herodotus also makes a very 
interesting reference to a religious sect who killed 
nothing that had life, lived on a grain like millet, 
and had no houses. It is impossible to help won- 
dering whether we have not here a reference to 
the Buddhists. Gautama, it will be remembered, 

1 Dried fish still forms a staple food for Indians on the 
coasts. This impressed the Greeks, who disliked most kinds 
of fish. 

2 Herod, m. 98-99. The " reed " is generally supposed 
to be the giant bamboo. But no bamboo is large enough 
to serve this purpose. Hence it has been suggested that the 
palmyra tree is really meant. With its ringed trunk, it was 
probably mistaken by Skylax and his companions for a kind 
of bamboo. Megasthenes speaks of " reeds " 180 feet high 
and three to six cubits in diameter (Strabo, xv. I. 56). Pliny 
(N.H. vii. 2) says a section between two nodes of the Indian 
reed will make a " dug-out " to carry three men. See 
McCrindle's learned note to the passage of Strabo, Ancient 
India, pp. 59-60. 

3 Duncker, Gesch. des. Alt. 11. 268. In the Ramayana 
these aborigines figure as " demons " haunting the woods. 

4 e.g. the Massagetae, Strabo, xi. 8. 6. Megasthenes also 
notices this practice among the tribes of the Hindu Kush, 
Strabo, xv. 1. 56. 



Herodotus : Ktesias 23 

died in 488 B.C., four years before Herodotus was 
born 1 . 

Herodotus is the first writer to mention the 
famous legend of the Indian ants who watched 
over the gold which the Indians carried off in 
order to pay the tribute due to the Great King. 
It was said that this gold was guarded by gigantic 
ants, but the Indians, mounted on swift she-camels, 
plundered the gold at mid-day when the ants were 
asleep in their holes, and made off, hotly pursued ! 
These " ants " were smaller than dogs but larger 
than foxes 2 , and threw up the gold in excavating 
their burrows. Some of them were in the pos- 
session of the Great King. Later writers talk of 
having seen their skins 3 , or even (mirabile dictu) 
their horns ! This curious story arose from the 
Sanskrit Paippilika, " ant-gold/' a term applied 
to alluvial gold from its resemblance to the earth 
of ant-hills 4 . The gold was carried off from the 

1 Buddhism spread to the Pan jab very quickly. The 
people of Gandhara claimed relationship with Gautama and, as 
his relatives, a share in his ashes (Mahaparinibbana Sutta, 
S.B.E. xi. 131). 

2 Pliny says they were of the colour of cats and the size 
of Egyptian wolves, N.H. ix. 31. 

3 Megasthenes apud Strabo, xv. I. 44, and Schwanbeck's 
note ad loc. Marten and other skins were early imported 
from Thibet and central Asia. The famous statue of Anaitis 
at Baktra was " clothed in beaver-skins." 

4 So Wilson, Ariana Antiqua, p. 135, who quotes the 
Mahabharata (11. i860) in support. See McCrindle, Ancient 
India, pp. 44 and 51 (notes). 



24 The Persian Period. 

miners of Dardistan, who still keep fierce yellow 
mastiffs to guard their houses. These mastiffs 
were the " ants " of the legend. The " horns/' 
which Pliny 1 asserts were hung in the temple of 
Hercules at Erythrae, were the horns of wild sheep, 
which, mounted in handles, are still used by the 
miners and farmers of Ladak as pickaxes. The 
gold-fields of Dardistan were quickly exhausted, 
perhaps by the exorbitant demands of Persia. 
They are seldom mentioned in later literature 2 , 
though Alexander, had he found them working, 
would have almost certainly exploited them. 
To-day they yield only insignificant quantities 3 . 

On the whole, the account given by Herodotus 
of the Indian satrapy is careful and accurate. It 
is no doubt drawn from the lost narrative of 
Skylax, or from other first-hand evidence 4 . He 
mentions, among other things, the extremes of 
heat and cold of the Panjab, the size of the animals 
and birds, the crocodiles in the Indus, the horses 
(which he considers inferior to the Median breed), 
and the excellent wild-cotton, superior to sheep's 

1 N.H. xi. 36. 

2 e.g. Pliny's " Fertilissimi sunt auri Derdae " (N.H. 19. 
67), which may, however, merely be an echo of earlier 
writers. 

8 Sandrakottus was paid in alluvial gold dust as tribute, 
probably from the " golden river," the Sona or Hiranyabahu, 
Strabo, xv. 1. 57. It flowed past his capital. He apparently 
had no gold from the Panjab. 

4 Probably from the accounts given by Persian officials 
who had served in India. 



Herodotus : Ktesias 25 

wool, of which the Indians made their clothes 1 . 
Besides the legend of the gold-ants, one or two 
Indian fables have crept, through Persia, into his 
narrative. Thus the famous story of Hippo- 
kleides 2 , who " didn't care " when he danced 
away his wife, seems to have a close parallel in 
the Jataka story of the silly young Peacock, who 
danced so indecently that he shocked the father 
of the golden Goose, and lost his wealthy bride. 
The story of the wife of Intaphernes 3 , who pleaded 
for her brother's life, because she could get another 
son or husband, but not another brother, has been 
traced to the Ucchanga Jataka*. The Hyper- 
boreans, who play such a large part in contemporary 
Greek legend, are the Indian Uttarakuru, trans- 
ferred rather pointlessly from their home in the 
holy Himalaya to Europe, where they are quite 
out of place. Perhaps this legend may be traced 
to Hekataeus, whose lost work " on the Hyper- 
boreans " is cited by Pliny. It is difficult, however, 
to see where Hekataeus obtained his information, 
unless the legend was current in Persia at an early 
date. 

1 Herodotus was also struck with the teeming population 
of India, which contrasted strongly with the sparsely -inhabited 

little Greek States. "IvScov Se irXrjOos 7roAA.(3 -n-Xetarov iart iravroiv 
twi> 77/Aeis tS/xev dvOpurrrwv, HI. 94. Cf. Strabo, II. 5. 32. 

2 Herod, vi. no. 
* Herod. 111. 18. 

4 No. 67, Fausboll. See Tawney, Journal of Philology, 
XII. 121. 



26 The Persian Period. 

The praise accorded to Herodotus for the 
admirable sobriety and truth of his remarks 
about India, cannot, unfortunately, be extended 
to Ktesias. Ktesias made very poor use of his 
opportunities — he was for twenty years court- 
physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon at Susa, and 
retired in 398 B.C. 1 He settled in Greece and 
there wrote his Indika, fragments of which survive 
in the abridgement of Photius and in other writers. 
It is full of extravagant stories of monstrous people 
and strange animals, and adds practically nothing 
to our knowledge of India. Ktesias is responsible 
for most of the grotesque legends about India 
which fill the pages of classical and medieval 
writers to the days of Sir John Mandeville 2 . It 
may be stated, in excuse, that these fables are 
repeated, with additions, even by sober writers 
like Megasthenes, and are not originally due 
to Greek invention 3 . They were coined in the 
first instance by the Indians themselves, among 
whom they apparently originated from exaggerated 
descriptions of the strange features and repulsive 

1 He was present at the battle of Kunaxa, and treated 
Artaxerxes for his wound after it. The legends in the Indika 
are treated at length in an appendix to this chapter. The 
fragments have been edited by Muller and translated by 
McCrindle. 

2 Othello's " Anthropophagi and men whose heads 

Do grow beneath their shoulders." 

3 Nor was Ktesias the first to fall in this respect. Heka- 
taeus mentioned the Skiapodes who used their gigantic feet 
as umbrellas ! 



Herodotus: Ktesias 27 

customs of the hated Dasyus — aborigines, Dravi- 
dian and Mongolian — whom they encountered 
when the Aryans first invaded India. Thus the 
Antipodes of Ktesias are the Paschadangnlajas 
of the Mahabharata ; the Pygmies are the Kirata 
— the Mongolian hillmen of Bhotan or the wild 
tribes of the Assam frontier perhaps. But this 
plea will not cover all the sins, of omission and 
commission, of Ktesias. His Indian animals are 
as fabulous as his Skiapodes and Anthropophagi. 
And a reference to the fragments of his companion 
work, the Per sika, shews that his other writings were 
equally unreliable and uncritical. Although he had 
resided for years in Persia and had the opportunity 
of consulting the royal archives, he adds little, or 
nothing, to our knowledge of Persian history. 
To him, for instance, we owe the fable of the 
invasion of India by Semiramis and the equally 
absurd romances attached to the story of the 
Skythian campaigns of Cyrus the Great. 

To the Persians, then, Greece owes her first 
knowledge of India. Darius had both Greeks 
and Indians as his subjects. Indian troops formed 
the light division of the army of Xerxes : they 
must have marched through the bloody defiles 
of Thermopylae, and their usefulness caused them 
to be retained by Mardonius 1 after the retreat of 
the king, to take part in the Boeotian campaign 
which ended so disastrously at the Asopus. Ionian 
officers in Persian employ, and probably Ionian 
1 Herod, vm. 113. 



28 The Persian Period. 

traders, visited the Panjab. But with the gradual 
break-up of the Persian Empire, the practical 
independence of eastern Iran, and the war with 
Greece, the traffic between India and the West 
sank to practically nothing. Probably the satrapy 
of the Panjab, like Baktria, owed a merely nominal 
allegiance, as time went on, to the court at Susa. 
But the Persian Empire made a profound im- 
pression upon the Indian mind. The Kharoshthi 
script, introduced no doubt by the Persians in 
their official documents, remained in use on the 
North- West Frontier till the fourth century a.d. 
The remains of Persian and Babylonian customs 
at Taxila may point to this place as the capital 
of the satrapy under the Persian Empire. The 
Maurya Emperors, as we gather from the account 
given by Megasthenes of the court of Sandra- 
kottus 1 , lived in Persian style. The Indian, like 
the Persian monarch, lived in seclusion, surrounded 
by his guards, and only appearing at rare intervals. 
The Buddhist architecture of Asoka, with its bell- 
capitals and winged lions, shews many traces of 
Persian influence 2 . Asoka's plan of propagating 

1 Sandrakottus acquired these customs during his long 
exile in the Panjab. 

2 And also, of course, that of Assyria through Persia. The 
fact that the Persian element is so thoroughly assimilated 
(unlike the crude mixture of East and West in the Gandhara 
sculptures) shews that Persian influence had been long felt in 
India in the days of Asoka. Persia, no doubt, suggested 
to Mauryan artists the use of stone instead of wood, brick, 
and stucco. 



Herodotus : Ktesias 29 

the Dharma by means of inscriptions upon the 
face of the rock, may have been borrowed from 
similar practices in vogue among the Persians 
— for instance the Behistun inscription. Even the 
Royal Road running through the Maurya domains 
finds its parallel in Persia. How this influence 
precisely crept in, we are, in our ignorance of the 
history of the Panjab at this period, unable to say. 
Was there a viceregal court at Taxila, where 
Sandrakottus had seen the stately Persian cere- 
monial in practice ? Or did he merely assume 
Persian customs, as Alexander and the Syrian 
Seleukids assumed them, because Persia, even in 
decay, remained the greatest and most imposing 
empire known to the world at that time ? 

APPENDIX 

I. Ktesias. Lassen 1 thinks the current opinion about 
Ktesias is too harsh, in spite of the fact that he had ample 
opportunities to question Persian officials who had been to 
the Panjab, and confesses to having met certain Indians who 
had come on an embassy to Persia. Lassen says that we are 
unable to judge Ktesias fairly from the summary of Photius, 
as Photius only extracted the marvellous stories. Unfor- 
tunately, other writers who had an opportunity of judging 
the work entire, have recorded their opinion. Thus Aulus 
Gellius 2 , the eminent bibliophile, tells us that he bought a 
copy of Ktesias on an old bookstall at Brindisium for a few 
coppers, and was disgusted to find it full of absurd legends. 
Lucian says that Ktesias wrote about things he had never 

1 Ind. Alt. (1874), 11. 641. 2 NocL Alt. ix. 4. 



30 The Persian Period. 

seen, and had never heard from anyone else. In fact, the 
testimony of the ancient writers concurs to prove that he set 
out to write a pleasing narrative after the style of Gulliver's 
Travels and nothing more. He takes some facts, e.g. that the 
Indians were the last race in the world, from Herodotus 1 , and 
some legends from Skylax. If the Hyparkhus is the Ganges, 
he has the credit for a fresh geographical discovery. He says 
that the Indus is between 40 and 100 stadia broad ; that there 
are no rains in India, but the land is watered by rivers which 
overflow like the Nile ; that the surface of the sea is too hot 
for fish to live in it ; that there is a spring containing liquid 
gold. He tells the legend of the gold guarded by griffins. 

On Indian plants he is a little more satisfactory. He 
mentions the cinnamon, giving it its Tamil name karppu 
(/capTriov) 2 ; also the cocoa-nut, the Indian reed (probably 
the palmyra, though Lassen says the bamboo), and the fact 
that there are male and female palms. He mentions cotton, as 
do most Greek writers on India. He also speaks of the " sweet 
wine " (tadi) of the palm 3 . With regard to animals, on the 
contrary, he indulges in the most ludicrous legends. He 
speaks fairly sensibly, indeed, of the elephant, the jackal and 
the parrot. The wild ass, or unicorn 4 , whose horn has such 
wonderful properties, may be the rhinoceros, and the Skolex, 
a gigantic worm with two huge teeth, living in the Indus and 
preying on animals, may be the crocodile. But the descrip- 
tions are wildly inaccurate. The Martichora, with its triple 
rows of teeth, the sting in its tail, and other strange attributes, 

1 Lassen denies this. If it is argued that Ktesias could 
not get more accurate facts, we have only to compare his 
narrative with that of Herodotus. 

2 Ktesias saw a small quantity of cinnamon oil sent from 
India as a present. He says it had a most exquisite fragrance. 
But is he thinking of attar of roses ? 

3 He had tasted this and liked it greatly. 

4 Kaprd^oiov ; the Skt. khadga. 



Herodotus : Ktesias 31 

is the man-eating tiger, but the picture is wilfully 1 distorted, 
almost out of recognition. The dung of the bird Dikairos, 
which produces sleep and even death, can hardly be opium, 
as opium was then unknown in India. The griffin is the 
gold-guarding ant of the other writers. It has been suggested, 
though Lassen does not agree, that Ktesias was influenced 
by the huge mythological animals of the Assyrian sculptures. 

Of the Indians, little is worth recording of what has been 
preserved. The Aryans were fair, they worshipped the Sun 
and Moon, and lived to a great age — even 200 years ! Of the 
marvellous springs which healed diseases and which revealed 
the guilty, we hear from other sources. The first were mineral 
springs ; and trial by the ordeal of water is mentioned in the 
works of the Chinese pilgrims. 

The fabulous races, for the legends about which Ktesias 
is not wholly responsible, are treated in the Appendix to 
Chapter III. 

Photius concludes his summary with the following words : 
" Ktesias, while romancing in this fashion, asserts that his 
narrative is literally true, and declares that he records nothing 
which he has not seen with his own eyes, or learnt from the words 
of many credible witnesses. He adds that he left even greater 
wonders untold, lest ignorant people might call him a liar ! " 
(Bibliotheke, 62. 33). This seems to prove that Ktesias 
deliberately invented, pace Lassen. It is like the tiger which 
he saw and described. 

II. Traces of the Persian Period. Some coins of the 
Persian Satrapy in the Panjab survive, e.g. the double-daric 
of Darius Codomannus (337-330 B.C.) figured by Rapson, 
Grundriss der Ind.-Ar. Philologie, PI. 1. 5. At the same time, 
Athenian owls were imported till the closing of the mint in 
322 B.C., after which they were imitated locally (ibid. PI. I. 6, 7). 

The word Yavana occurs in Indian literature first in 

1 Wilfully, because Ktesias had seen a tiger, sent to the 
king from India ! See Pausanias, ix. 21, and Aristotle, Hist. 
Anim. 11. 1. 



32 The Persian Period. Herodotus: Ktesias 

Panini in the feminine form Yavanani. The commentator 
Katyayana says this is used of Yavanani lipi, the Greek script. 
Goldstucker, in his learned book on Panini, his place in 
Sanskrit Literature (London, 1861), says Panini was before 
Buddha (568-488 B.C.). But India could hardly have heard 
of the Greek alphabet before Darius, even though Panini lived 
in Gandhara. Goldstucker suggests cuneiform, but this is 
hardly suitable. If, on the other hand, we were to accept the 
late tradition connecting Panini with the last Nanda king, it 
would be quite easy to see that Panini was familiar with 
Greek letters on coins. The expression may possibly be used 
of KharoshthT. 



CHAPTER III 

THE MAURYA EMPIRE. MEGASTHENES 

In 329 B.C., the long peace of India was rudely 
disturbed. The army of Alexander entered the 
Panjab, and beating down the desperate opposition 
of the various tribes who tried to bar its way, 
penetrated to the banks of the Hyphasis. Alex- 
ander had now reached the utmost limits of the 
Persian Empire. Before him lay a vast and 
unknown country. Some said that the sandy 
deserts which lay around, stretched to the end of 
the world, inhabited, perhaps, by the strange 
monsters described by the pen of Ktesias. Alex- 
ander, however, had heard rumours of a vast 
nation, the Prasii, ruled by a king named Xan- 
drames, who had a mighty army 1 , and he was 
anxious to push on and try conclusions with him. 

1 Plutarch, Vit. Alex. 62 The word Prasii, used by Greek 
writers of the kingdom of Magadha, is probably the Sanskrit 
Prachya, Eastern. Xandrames may be Nanda Raja. He is 
called Angrammes by Curtius (ix. 2). His real name was 
Mahapadma. ITpa£ioi, npcuo-iot, npaiaioi, Bprjcrioi, Pharrasii 
are other forms of UpaVioi, found in Greek and Latin 
literature (Schwanbeck, p. 82, n.). Cunningham prefers to 
derive the word from Parasa (Palasa), a name sometimes 
given to Magadha, derived from the Palasa tree (Butea 
frondosa). 



34 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

But the Macedonian troops, desperate at the 
thought of new terrors and fresh privations, 
refused to go any further. They had fought 
battles, crossed deserts and rivers, and climbed 
mountain ranges at the order of their leader, but 
this was too much. The breaking-point had been 
reached at last. And so Alexander had to content 
himself with the conquest of the old Persian 
" satrapy of India." He was no mere military 
adventurer, and from the first his object was to 
develop the immense commercial resources of the 
Panjab. Trading depots were founded all along 
the course of the Indus as the Macedonian army 
moved towards the mouth of the river. Buke- 
phala and Nikaea were built on the banks of the 
Hydaspes ; Alexandria-on-Indus at the important 
spot where the Akesines joins the main stream ; 
and Patala at the head of the Indus delta 1 . Alex- 
andria-on-Indus soon became an important town. 
It survived the overthrow of the Macedonian power 
in the Panjab for many years, and became famous 
under the rule of the Baktrian kings as a great 
Graeco-Buddhist centre. " Alasanda of the Yonas " 
is mentioned in the Mahavatnsa, the chronicle- 
history of the distant island of Ceylon, as the 
" capital of the Yona country/' and 30,000 monks 
are said to have come from this place to the 
dedication-festival of the great tope of Ruanvelli 

1 Hence called Patalene. Patala is the modern Bahma- 
nabad. Bukephala is Jihlam. For Alexandria-on-Indus, 
see Arrian, Exped. Alex. vi. 14, 15. 



7 he Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 35 

in 137 B.C. 1 We have, curiously enough, in the 
name of this town, the only mention in Indian 
literature of the name of the great Macedonian 
conqueror. Patala remained an important port 
for western trade, and was the principal harbour 
in north-western India until its claims were 
rivalled by Barygaza. Philip, the satrap of Par- 
thia, was put in charge of the new province, with 
orders to push on the development of the colonies 
and the completion of the naval docks and other 
commercial undertakings with all speed 2 . On 
reaching the mouth of the river, Alexander deter- 
mined to build a dock at the end of the eastern 
arm, as he found there an excellent natural harbour, 
forming a lake-like basin 3 . Nearchus, the admiral 
in charge of the Greek fleet, was now sent on to 
explore the Persian Gulf, while Alexander, un- 
deterred by the legendary stories of the fate of the 
army of Semiramis, rashly attempted to follow 
overland across the terrible Mekran desert. 

Arrian gives a diverting account of the perils 
which beset the fleet at its start, owing to the tidal 
bore of the Indus, and also to a school of whales, 
which, sad to say, nearly proved too much for 
the nerves of the sturdy Macedonian sailors ! 

1 See the Mahdvatnsa, trans. Tumour, p. no, ch. xxix. 

2 Arrian, Exped. Alex. VI. 15. 2. 

3 The course of the river changes so rapidly that we cannot 
expect to identify any of these places. This is the port to 
which Nearchus gave the name of Nauslathmos or Alexander's 
Haven. It may be the port called by the strange name of 
Barbarikon in the Periplus. 

3—2 



36 The Manrya Empire. Megasthenes 

Apparently, the government of the Pan jab now fell 
into the hands of Peithon, while Sind was under 
Eudamus. Associated with Peithon was Porus, 
whom Alexander, after his defeat, magnanimously 
put in this position. 

The exploration of the Indus valley was the 
beginning of a new era in the history of Greek 
geography, and we cannot help wondering what 
might have been the result had Alexander lived 
to carry out his far-reaching schemes. Would the 
Indus valley have become the centre of Hellenistic 
culture, as Egypt and Syria became, where the 
civilization of East and West blended to form new 
products ? The question was destined never to 
be solved. In June, 323 B.C., the great conqueror 
died at Babylon of fever. 

A wild panic shook the Empire to the centre. 
No one knew what would happen next, and in the 
distant colonies of the Panjab things quickly 
began to look serious for the Macedonian garrison. 
A quarrel broke out between Eudamus and his 
native colleague, which ended in the treacherous 
assassination of the latter. The death of Porus 
further exasperated the native population, who 
broke into open revolt in 317 B.C., when Eudamus 
and Peithon, taking with them as much loot as 
they could lay hands on, and the flower of the 
Macedonian troops, evacuated the Panjab, and 
went to join Eumenes in the scramble for power 
nearer home. No doubt they felt their position 
to be quite untenable long before they determined 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 37 

upon this move. The revolt was largely organized 
by Sandrakottus, or Chandragupta, to give him 
his proper name, the remarkable adventurer who 
founded the Maurya dynasty 1 . 

Chandragupta had originally lived in the Panjab, 
and a tradition says that as a young man he came 
into contact with Alexander. He then went to 
seek his fortune at the court of the Nanda kings 
of Magadha (there is some reason for supposing 
that he was of royal blood), and there he met with 
a fellow-countryman, the crafty Brahmin minister 
Chanakya 2 from Taxila. Becoming implicated 
in a plot which Chanakya had made against his 
master, he was forced to flee to his former home, 
and here he found the tribes ripe for revolt against 
their Greek rulers. Putting himself at the head of 
the rising, he helped his compatriots, says Justin 3 , 
" to cast off the yoke of servitude from their necks 
and slay their masters/' The people afterwards 
repented of their choice, he adds, for Chandra- 
gupta turned out to be as harsh as those whom he 
had displaced 4 . 

1 There are various stories of the youth of Chandragupta. 
V. A. Smith {Early History of India, p. no), gives another 
version. He says that Chandragupta was an illegitimate 
scion of the Nandas, and was banished to the Panjab for 
insolence (Justin, xv. 4, with Nandrum for Alexandrum) . 

2 Also called Kautilya and Vishnugupta. 

3 Post mortem Alexandri, velut cervicibus jugo servitutis 
excusso, praefectos ejus occiderat. Justin, xv. 4. 

4 Populum, quern ab externa dominatione vindicaverat, 
ipse servitio premebat. Ibid. 



38 The Maurya Empire, Megasthenes 

By 315 B.C., Macedonian rule in the Panjab 
was at an end, though doubtless very considerable 
bodies of " Yavana " colonists continued to remain 
settled in the Panjab, at " Alasanda of the Yonas" 
and other settlements. They were united by ties 
of marriage to the country of their adoption and 
had no desire to return. Having established 
himself in the Panjab, Chandragupta marched 
against Magadha. This time he was successful. 
The Nanda monarch was defeated, and Chandra- 
gupta, with the aid of his old ally Chanakya, 
established himself upon the throne at Pataliputra. 
He had thus built up for himself a far vaster Empire 
than India had ever before seen, stretching as it 
did from the Ganges to the Hindu Kush Mountains. 
The lessons in imperialism which he had learnt 
from Alexander had borne good fruit. 

How well Chandragupta had used his time was 
seen in 306 B.C., when Seleukus Nikator tried to 
repeat the exploits of his former master. He was, 
however, cruelly disillusioned. On entering the 
Panjab, he found himself face to face with a vast 
and well-organized army, and he was glad to come 
to terms with his opponent. Chandragupta, on 
the other hand, was alive to the advantages of an 
agreement with the Syrian monarch, and an alli- 
ance was arranged. Chandragupta was to receive 
certain provinces in Arachosia and Gedrosia over 
which Syria had long ceased to exercise a de facto 
sovereignty, while Seleukus was given six hundred 
elephants to aid him in his war against Antigonus. 



The Maitrya Empire. Megasthenes 39 

He hoped for great results from this new and 
formidable arm. The alliance between the monarchs 
was cemented by a marriage between the Indian 
king and a Syrian princess. Such a daring innova- 
tion is in itself a convincing proof of the greatness 
of Chandragupta's mind. It was probably owing to 
this occurrence that the Syrian and Maurya 
monarchs continued for several generations to 
maintain a close and friendly intercourse. An 
amusing correspondence, of which a fragment or 
two is recorded, was maintained between Bindu- 
sara and Seleukus. Bindusara asks for a sample 
of Greek wine, some raisins and a "Sophist/' 
Seleukus writes back, saying that he sends the 
wine with much pleasure, but regrets that " it 
isn't good form among the Greeks to trade in 
philosophers x ! ' When Asoka was converted 
to Buddhism, his first thought was to despatch 
missionaries to his friends, the Greek monarchs of 
Egypt, Syria and Macedonia, that they might 
share in the glad tidings of his new creed. Ambas- 
sadors from the West frequently visited the Maurya 
court. Megasthenes came from Seleukus to 
Chandragupta ; Deimachus from the same monarch 
to Bindusara, Chandragupta's son and successor, 
and Dionysius from Ptolemy Philadelphus 2 . The 
most important of these, of course, was Mega- 
sthenes, to whom we owe the only complete account 
we possess of the court and government of the great 

1 Miiller, Frag. Hist. Graec. iv. 421. 

2 Pliny, N.H. vi. 17. 3. Strabo, 11. 1. 10. 



4-0 1 he Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

Indian monarch. His work, though no longer 
extant, is known to us from numerous citations by 
Strabo, Pliny, Arrian, Diodorus, Photius and others 1 . 
Megasthenes was originally stationed at the 
court of Syburtius, satrap of Arachosia 2 . He 
was ordered to proceed to India about 302 B.C. 
Whether he also visited the court of another Indian 
prince, to whom the generic name of " Porus " is 
given 3 , and whether he paid one or many visits 
to the Maurya monarch 4 , is not quite certain. 
" He dwelt for some time," says Solinus, " with 
Indian kings, and wrote a History of India, that 
he might hand down to posterity a faithful account 
of what he saw there/' The credibility of his 
narrative was generally accepted in ancient times, 
— Arrian calls him a " trustworthy person 5 " — 
though the sceptical Strabo, disgusted by the im- 
possibility of distinguishing truth from falsehood in 
the many conflicting accounts of India, roundly calls 

1 Collected by Schwanbeck (Bonn, 1846). For the life 
of Megasthenes, see the introduction to this work, and the 
Preface to Miiller's edition. 

2 See Arrian, Exped. Alex. v. 6. 2. 

3 Schwanbeck emends IIwpw hi tovtov pei£ovi to Uwpov hi 
tovto) fx€i£ovi, " Greater even than Porus." 

4 IIoAAa/as 8c Xeyct Meyao^eV^s d<f}LK€(r6cu wapa SavSpaKOTTOv. 

(Arrian, Exped. Alex. v. 6. 2). This may mean that Mega- 
sthenes often went to Pataliputra, or often visited Chandra- 
gupta when at Pataliputra. 

5 8o/a//,os dvr/p. He classes him with Eratosthenes. 
Strabo, who has the highest opinion of Eratosthenes, differs 

ntirely from this view. 



The Maury a Empire. Megasthenes 41 

him a liar, almost as untrustworthy as Deimachus 1 . 
Pliny shares his opinion 2 . As a matter of fact, 
Megasthenes has now been completely vindicated. 
His description of India agrees wonderfully with 
what we have learnt from independent Indian 
sources, and the only justification of Strabo's 
censures is to be found in his account of the 
fabulous races of India. And here Megasthenes, 
like his predecessors, is not wholly to blame. He 
repeats legends which were current in India, and 
he took them in perfect good faith from his in- 
formants, as may be seen from the fact that their 
names are all literal translations of Sanskrit words 3 . 
Megasthenes is, of course, only reliable as far as 
he saw the country with his own eyes. Thus he 
is unaware of the existence of the great Ganges 
delta, as he never descended that river below 
Pataliputra 4 . He states that, unlike the Indus, 
the Ganges has only a single mouth 5 ! 

1 "As a rule, previous writers about India have been a 
pack of liars. Deimachus comes first and Megasthenes next," 
Geog. 11. I. 9. But the veracity of Megasthenes is established 
by comparison with the Kautillya Artha lustra and other 
Indian works (vide App. III). 

2 Pliny, N.H. VI. 12. 3, " It is not worth while to study 
the accounts of Megasthenes and Dionysius with care. They 
are too conflicting and too incredible." 

3 The stories of the fabulous tribes of India are as old as 
Hekataeus. See what is said upon the subject in Chapter II. 
A list of the fabulous tribes is given in Appendix II to this 
chapter. 4 Arrian, Indika, v. 

5 Megasthenes apud Strabo, Geog. xv. I. 13. 



42 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

The first thing which struck Megasthenes 
on entering India, was the Royal Road from the 
frontier to Pataliputra, down which the envoy 
must have travelled to the capital 1 . It was con- 
structed in eight stages, and ran from the frontier 
town of Peukelaotis 2 to Taxila : from Taxila, 
across the Indus to the Jihlam ; then to the Beas, 
near the spot where Alexander erected his altars. 
From here it went to the Sutlej : from the Sutlej 
to the Jamna : and from the Jamna, probably 
via Hastinapura, to the Ganges. From the Ganges 
the road ran to a town called Rhodopha 3 , and from 
Rhodopha to Kalinipaxa (probably Kanyakubja 
or Kanauj) 4 . From Kanauj it went to the mighty 
town of Prayaga at the junction of the Ganges and 
the Jamna, and from Prayaga to Pataliputra. From 
the capital it continued its course to the mouth of 
the Ganges, probably at Tamluk, though Mega- 
sthenes never traversed the last stage of the road. 
At every mile along the road was a stone to in- 
dicate the by-roads and distances. The road was 
in the charge of the officers of the Board of Works 
who were responsible for its upkeep. The mile- 
stones were of great assistance to geographers in 
the computation of the distances between places 

1 See Pliny, N.H. vi. 21, and Appendix at the end of 
this chapter. 

2 The capital of Gandhara (Skt. Pushkaldvatl). 

3 Said to be Dabhai near Anupshahr. 

4 So Lassen. St Martin says Kdlini-paksha, a town sup- 
posed to be on the " side " of the Kalinadi. 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 43 

in India. There seems to be little doubt that 
this road was one of the many schemes emanating 
from the master-mind of the great Maurya Em- 
peror, though he may have utilized to some extent 
existing routes, which he linked up for the purpose 1 . 
The idea may have been suggested by the Royal 
Road of Persia, and may be reckoned as one of 
the many signs of Persian influence in the Maurya 
Empire. Its value, from a commercial as well as 
a strategic point of view, must have been enormous. 
By means of it, troops could be moved from 
Pataliputra to the furthest confines of the Empire ; 
it joined up all the great cities — Taxila, Kanauj, 
Hastinapura, Prayaga — with the capital ; and by 
it trade was immensely facilitated. Goods from 
the Golden Chersonese and beyond, silk from the 
Seres, Gangetic muslins, spices from Arabia, specie 
from the West, all poured into the bazaars of 
Pataliputra, and caravans could pass uninterrupted 
from the Ganges to the Khaibar. The prosperity 
of the foreign trade is attested by the elaborate 
regulations made by Chandragupta for the enter- 
tainment of foreign merchants 2 . 

Along this great highway Megasthenes travelled 
into lands never before beheld by Greek eyes. At 
last he came in sight of the broad stream of the 

1 That some such road as far as the Beas existed in the 
days of Alexander is of course implied in the statement that 
he obtained the measurements from the records of Alexander's 
survey officers. A road from Ayodhya to Rajagriha, via 
Hastinapura, is mentioned in the Rdmdyana. 

2 Megasthenes apud Strabo, xv. I. 51. 



44 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

sacred Ganges, and his exaggerated accounts of 
its size — he says it was eight or ten miles wide in 
places 1 — testify to his wonder at beholding it. 
The Greeks, having no rivers of any note in their 
own lands, were filled with admiration at the sight 
of such streams as the Nile, the Euphrates, the 
Ganges or the Indus. He was struck with the 
fertility of the Doab through which the road passes, 
with its two crops and two monsoons every year 2 . 
Like Herodotus, he remarks on the hugeness of 
the animals — the elephants, pythons, tigers, and 
hunting-hounds 3 — and the curious plants and trees 
— the " reed " (really, as we have seen before, 
the palmyra) out of which boats could be made ; 
the banyan with its spreading branches ; the 
" vegetable wool " or cotton 4 , the " honey bearing 
reed/' or sugar-cane, and the ubiquitous rice-plant. 
At length Megasthenes came in sight of the 
Royal City. It stood at the junction of the Ganges 
and the Son 5 , and presented an imposing appear- 
ance 6 . It was in the shape of a parallelogram, and 

1 Megasthenes apud Pliny, vi. 18. 65. Arrian (Indika, iv) 
states that according to Megasthenes, the Ganges in places 
spreads out into lakes which are so wide that it is impossible 
to see from shore to shore ! It is difficult to believe that 
Megasthenes made such a statement. See Schwanbeck, Frag. 
xx. b and xxv. 2 Strabo, xv. 1. 20 (Frag. XI, Schwan.). 

3 Schwanbeck, Frag, xii-xvii, sums up all the passages 
on Indian animals. 

4 If this is what Arrian means by XiW to a?™ SeVSpewv. 
Flax and cotton are continually confused. 

5 The river has since altered its course. 

6 Pataliputra is described in Fragments xxv and xxvi, 
Schwan. (Arrian, Indika, x, and Strabo, xv. 1. 35.) 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 45 

was surrounded by vast walls of brick, with a 
wooden palisade in front, pierced with loopholes 
for archery. The wall had sixty-four gates and 
five hundred and seventy towers ; it was eighty 
stadia long on its longer sides, and fifteen stadia 
long on the shorter. On the two sides not pro- 
tected by the rivers, ran a huge moat, filled with 
the waters of the Son, into which it flowed. This 
moat, six hundred feet broad and thirty cubits 
deep, protected the town and also carried off the 
drainage. The city was one of the strongest in 
the world, but like most of the towns of India at 
that time, it was built chiefly of wood and unburnt 
brick. It was the custom, says Megasthenes, to 
use wood where floods were common, and brick 
and mud when the buildings were on elevated 
spots. This is the reason why so little has sur- 
vived of the early architecture of India. Two 
generations later, the use of stone became common, 
and Asoka crowned the capital with a gigantic 
stone palace, exquisitely carved. Centuries after- 
wards, a Chinese pilgrim, wandering among the 
ruins of the then deserted city, gazed with awe 
upon the huge stone blocks scattered here and 
there, and declared that they could be the work 
of "no mortal hands/ ' Excavations are now 
proceeding upon the site of Pataliputra, and the 
accuracy of the account of Megasthenes has received 
fresh confirmation. The wall and palisade were 
unearthed some years ago. 

Of the court of Chandragupta, with its 



46 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

ceremonies, and of his system of administration, 
we have a highly interesting and detailed descrip- 
tion in Megasthenes. Chandragupta was by no 
means popular. His rule, as we have seen before, 
was considered tyrannous and oppressive. The 
easy-going and indolent Indians, no doubt, dis- 
liked a highly-organized system of government to 
which they were unused ; and the foreign air of 
the court, with its Greek inmates, and its Persian 
ceremonial, did not help to ingratiate the monarch 
with his subjects. Megasthenes, whose account 
is confirmed by Indian writers 1 , says that he was 
obliged to dwell in strict seclusion. He was 
surrounded by a body-guard of women, who cooked 
his food, served his wine, and when of an evening 
he had become weary, carried him to his apart- 
ments and lulled him to sleep with Indian music 2 . 
Even at night he was constantly compelled to 
change his bedroom, to avoid the attacks of pos- 
sible conspirators, who, according to native tradi- 
tion, even dug tunnels under the palace walls 3 . 
In the day he sat in the Hall of Justice, hearing 
complaints, while his attendant 4 massaged him 
with wooden rollers, rubbed scented ointments on 
his feet, and combed and dressed his long hair. 

1 Mudrd Rdkshasa, Act II. This play is a most interesting 
historic drama, and throws many sidelights on Chandragupta's 
career. 

2 Strabo, xv. i. 55. Q. Curtius, VIII. 9 (Frag, xxvn, 
Schwanbeck). 

3 Mudrd Rdkshasa (loc. cit.). 4 Samvdhaka. 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 47 

It was at this time that the foreign ambassadors 
were received, and Megasthenes must have attended 
many a time the strange levee which he here so 
graphically describes. On the rare occasions when 
the monarch left the seclusion of the Royal Palace, 
whether to offer sacrifice or to go hunting, his 
Amazonian guard accompanied him, forming a 
hedge round the royal chariot. One or two women, 
armed to the teeth, rode in the chariot, while 
others were mounted on horses or elephants. The 
road when the royal cortege was to pass was marked 
off with ropes, and a ring of spearmen surrounded 
the whole retinue. No one was allowed to ap- 
proach, and it was certain death for any, man or 
woman, to pass the barriers 1 . Megasthenes says 
that these women were bought from their parents 
and brought up in the palace ; but it is more pro- 
bable that they were partly foreign, and mostly 
Westerners. Greek girls, we know, were frequently 
imported at Barygaza 2 , and a " Guard of Yavana 
women is a stock feature of the Raja's court in 
the Indian dramas 3 . In Southern India, we hear 
of a body-guard of " dumb Mlecchas " being used 
in a similar fashion 4 . Their utility was obvious ; 

1 tw 8k irapiKOovri cvtos ^XP l ywai/cwv 6avaro<;. Frag. XXVII, 

Schwan. 

2 Periplus, § 49. 

3 Dushyanta Raja, e.g. has such a guard in the Sakuntala of 
Kalidasa. So Chandragupta himself, Mudra Rakshasa, Act in. 

4 Vincent Smith, Early Hist, of India, p. 400. Pillay, 
The Tamils a Hundred years ago, Ch. in. 



48 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

they were foreign mercenaries, and as such, likely 
to be loyal to their employer and unwilling to plot 
against him. They had no motive for taking 
sides in any disputes, and being unable to under- 
stand much of the language of the country, had no 
sympathies with any political party. They have 
been compared, not inaptly, with the " Switzers," 
the Swiss Guards of the French monarchs, and 
the Swiss mercenaries of other kings. 

Chandragupta lived in considerable state. In 
the processions held on festal occasions, elephants 
decked in gold and silver, four-horsed chariots, 
and yokes of oxen took part. " Then comes a 
great host of attendants in holiday dress, with 
golden vessels such as huge basins and goblets, 
six feet broad, tables, chairs of state, drinking 
vessels and lavers, all of Indian copper, and many 
of them set with jewels such as emeralds, beryls 
and Indian garnets ; others bear robes embroi- 
dered in gold thread, and lead wild beasts, such 
as buffaloes, leopards and tame lions, and rare 
birds in cages 1 /' " In the Indian royal palace," 
says another writer, " where the greatest of all 
the kings of the country resides, besides much else 
which is calculated to excite admiration, there are 
wonders with which neither Memnonian Susa in 
all its glory, nor the magnificence of Ekbatana can 

1 Strabo, xv. 1. 69. This was no doubt a copy of the Persian 
ceremonial which was generally adopted at Oriental courts. 
See e.g. the account of the processions of Antiochus Epiphanes 
and Ptolemy Philadelphus in Athenaeus, iv. 4. 5. 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 49 

hope to vie ; indeed, only the well-known vanity 
of the Persians could imagine such a comparison V 
Of the army of Chandragupta, the famous force 
which defeated Seleukus Nikator, Megasthenes 
gives us a very full account 2 . Its numbers are 
possibly exaggerated, as is the size of nearly 
everything in India by the Greeks. It consisted 
of cavalry, infantry, chariots and elephants 3 , 
and its total number was said to be 400,000. 
Possibly this includes the grooms, buglers, gong- 
beaters, ox-drivers, mechanics and foragers — the 
vast array of suttlers which follows an oriental 
army. It was managed by a very efficient War 
Office, with a department in charge of each arm 
of the service. There were stables for the horses, 
chariots and elephants, and magazines where all 
arms had to be stored when not in use. The 
chariots on the march were drawn by oxen, so as 
to keep the horses fresh : in battle, two men-at- 
arms stood by the driver, and each elephant 
carried four sharpshooters. The horses were driven 
with a spiked muzzle, a halter instead of a bridle, 
and the infantry were armed with long shields of 
undressed oxhide, two-handed swords, and bows 
of great length and power, which they discharged 
by resting them on the ground against the left foot. 

1 Aelian, ircpi £coW iSiot^tos, Bk XIII. 18. i. 

2 See Arrian, Indika, xvi, and Fragments xxxm and xxxiv 
Schwanbeck (Strabo, xv. I. 50, and Aelian, xm. 10). 

3 The four kaya, asvakdya, pattikaya, rathakaya and hasti- 
kdya. 

R. 1. 4 



50 The Maury a Empire. Megasthenes 

The arrow, three yards long, pierced shield and 
armour like paper. They carried two-handed 
swords, but did not care for closing with the enemy. 
The cavalry, who had no saddles, had two long 
lances (o-avvia) as their chief equipment. The army, 
which was a standing one, was liberally paid, and 
the soldiers spent much of their time drinking and 
idling. 

We now turn to the very interesting account 
given by Megasthenes of the organization of the 
Government, where again we see the work of the 
master-mind of the great Maurya 1 . Megasthenes 
gave a minute account of this elaborate system, 
which has been copied by many subsequent autho- 
rities. Unfortunately, he mixes up the traditional 
four castes of Hindu society 2 with the official bodies 
created by Chandragupta, and he becomes con- 
fused over the sub-castes, with their perplexing 
distribution of functions in the state. The mistake 
was not an unnatural one for a foreigner to make. 
He is also led astray by the fact that the Egyptians, 
according to Herodotus, had seven castes. Egypt 
and India were frequently confused by the Greeks, 
and Megasthenes comes to the conclusion that 
there are seven " castes " (yeV^) in India also 3 . He 
arrives at this number as follows. He divides 
the Brahmins into two castes — philosophers and 

1 Schwanbeck, Frag. I, xxxin, and xxxiv. (Diodorus, 
II. 40 ; Strabo, xv. 1. 39 ; Arrian, Indika, xi.) 

2 Brahmana, Kshattriya, Vaisya, Siidra. 

3 Twos is a literal translation of jati. 



The Maury a Empire. Megasthenes 5 1 

statesmen. The Kshattriyas or Military form a 
caste by themselves. The Vaisyas and SMras are 
divided into three castes by Megasthenes — farmers, 
herdsmen, and artisans, and he adds a seventh 
caste of " Inspectors and Overseers " — the con- 
fidential officers in the service of Chandragupta 1 . 
These officials were probably recruited chiefly from 
the Brahmin caste. 

First in order, in the catalogue of Megasthenes, 
came the Philosophers (3u\do-o<£oi, to^Lo-rai) em- 
ployed in literary and scientific pursuits and 
religious rites. These were, of course, the Brahmins, 
ubiquitous as ever. Of the religion and philosophy 
of the Brahmins, Megasthenes speaks in another 
place, and the subject will be treated separately. 
Once a year a great conclave of Brahmins was 
held by the king, when rewards were dispensed 
to those who had produced literary works or made 
scientific discoveries of merit 2 . 

Then came the Husbandmen (Tecopyoi). Mega- 
sthenes found the Indian rayat to be, as he is now, 
of a peaceful, gentle nature. Exempted from 
military service, he took no part in war and 
politics, and lived quietly on his farm, rarely 
going to the city. Often, says Megasthenes, you 

1 The Pativedaka of Asoka. 

2 Megasthenes may be thinking of the great fairs held at 
places like Prayaga once a year % Hiuen Tsiang describes one 
which he attended with king Siladitya. The monarch dis- 
tributed gifts to many thousands of Brahmins, monks, and 
mendicants. 

4—2 



52 The Maury a Empire. Megasthenes 

might see him calmly ploughing, while contending 
armies a little distance off were fighting for their 
lives. India changes little, and when the English 
troops were besieging Delhi in 1857, the ploughman 
went on with his work between the Ridge and the 
doomed city, just as Megasthenes describes him 
as doing. So complete is the division of labour 
brought about by the caste-system. It is inter- 
esting to note that all land belonged to the Crown. 
There was no private ownership 1 . As in all 
ancient communities, the taxation was severe. 
The rayat paid the Crown three-fourths, or ac- 
cording to others, one-fourth of the produce, in 
addition to ground-rent (x^/° a ? pio-doC). 

The third class consisted of Herdsmen 2 , and 
included shepherds, hunters, and various people 
of that kind. They were mostly members of the 
aboriginal tribes, and as such, belonged to the 
Siidras, the lowest stratum of Hindu society. 
They rendered, however, important services to the 
State. They cleared the fields of the tigers, boars, 
deer, and birds, which molested the villagers' 
flocks, herds, and crops. They killed the snakes, 
scorpions, and dangerous insects which infested the 
country in the rainy season. Most important of 
all, they caught and tamed the elephants which 
played such an important part in the army of 

1 In many places a village held land in common and the 
crops were divided. This is a survival of the primitive Indo- 
Aryan village-community. Strabo, xv. I. 66. 

2 /3oVKo\oi KCU TTOLfX€V€S KOU KdOoXoV 7TaVT€S OL J/0/A€€S. Diod. Sic. 



The Manrya Empire. Megasthenes 53 

Chandragupta. In return for their services, they 
received an allowance of corn from the Royal 
Exchequer. Private people were forbidden to 
keep elephants, which were reserved for royal 
use. This served as a sumptuary law, checking 
the ambitions of the nobility ; it also secured the 
maximum number of these valuable beasts for the 
imperial forces. 

The fourth class consisted of the Artizans 
(rex^rai). These, according to the code of Manu, 
were Vaisyas, like the Agriculturalists. This class 
included the great Trade-Guilds, many of which 
received land and other privileges in return for 
service rendered to the State. Thus the Armourers 
and Shipwrights had a monopoly of work in their 
own branches, receiving wages and rations in 
payment ; and taxes were wholly or partly re- 
mitted to State employes. In time of peace, the 
Admiralty hired out their men of war to merchants 
to be employed on the flourishing traffic in goods 
and passengers which went on along the Ganges 
and Jamna, and doubtless along the waters of the 
Indus as well. 

The fifth caste was the Military Caste 1 , the 
Kshattriyas of the Hindu codes. The immense 
standing army of Chandragupta gave special 
prominence to members of this caste, who were 
liberally treated in the matter of pay and allow- 
ances. Accoutrements were found by the War 
Office, which had a special contract with the 

1 TLo\€fXL<TTat. 



54 The Maury a Empire. Megasthenes 

armourers' guild. Weapons were kept in the 
arsenals, under the supervision of the Ordnance 
Department. 

Sixthly came the Overseers 1 or Inspectors, a 
branch of the Civil Service specially maintained 
by Chandragupta. These officers travelled round 
inspecting the work of the government officials, 
and furnishing confidential reports direct to the 
Throne on their conduct. They spied on the army 
too, and it is said that they freely used the cour- 
tezans of the city to obtain information 2 . Besides 
keeping the Viceroys and rulers of the distant 
provinces of the great Empire up to the mark, 
they no doubt checked the frequent plots hatched 
against the Emperor's life. When they were on 
circuit, they gave even the meanest subject a 
chance to appeal against official tyranny. The 
post is said to have been a well-paid one, and much 
in request among adventurous youths. It seems 
probable that Asoka used these officials to enforce 
the Law of the Dharma on his subjects. 

The seventh and last class was that of the Royal 
Councillors, the ministers who formed the Privy 
Council of the Emperor. Like the philosophers 
of the first class, they must have been all, or 
nearly all, Brahmins, but Megasthenes distinguishes 
between those Brahmins who devoted themselves 
to priestly and literary occupations, and those who, 
like the great Chanakya, made politics their 

1 "E</)OpOl, 'E7TtO*K07rOl. 

2 Strabo, xv. i. 48. 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 55 

occupation, and became, as priests in many countries 
have done, the power behind the throne. Nearchus 
observed this. " Some of the Brahmins/ ' he says, 
"enter political life and attend the king as 
councillors, while others devote themselves to 
philosophy V This class had the monopoly of the 
great offices of State — posts as ' ' Judge, governor, 
deputy-governor, ruler over a province, quaestor, 
superintendent of agriculture, admiral or general," 
says Arrian. 

Apart from the seven classes into which the 
State was divided, was the Civil Service proper. 
In rural districts, the government was in the hands 
of a body of officials, who combined the duties 
of the Collector, Forest Officer, and Engineer of 
modern India. These officers had the most varied 
duties. They superintended irrigation, the con- 
struction of irrigation works, and the survey and 
assessment of irrigated lands. They saw to the 
repair of public roads, and to the erection of mile- 
stones and signposts at every ten stadia. They 
built and repaired the bridges. They collected 
the taxes imposed upon the rayats : they supervised 
the hunters, and saw that they did not defraud the 
State of horses or elephants. They kept an eye on 
the wood-cutters and took care that the country 
was not deforested. They supervised the mines. 
They appear to have been invested with the judicial 
powers necessary for the enforcement of their 
decrees. 

1 Strabo, xv. 1. 66. 



56 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

The system in vogue in the rural districts was 
of a simple kind, reminding us in a primitive 
manner of the modern Civil Service, with its 
multifarious duties. The system of urban govern- 
ment was more complicated. We have Mega- 
sthenes' account of the administration of Patali- 
putra : no doubt Taxila, Ujjain, Prayaga, and the 
other provincial capitals and great cities, were 
governed in a similar fashion. There were six 
panchayats, or boards of five officers, and each 
board had its own department allotted to it. 
Besides this, the whole municipal council of thirty 
members met from time to time to discuss common 
measures, such as the repair of roads, upkeep of 
markets, temples and so forth, and to fix the taxes 
and the current market prices. 

The first, fourth, fifth and sixth boards devoted 
their attention to commercial regulations. The 
first supervised industries, crafts, trade-guilds, and 
so on. The fourth board superintended the markets, 
saw that the weights and measures were duly 
tested and stamped, and that the proper fixed 
prices were charged. A curious regulation, due 
to the specialization resulting from the caste 
system, imposed a double tax on merchants selling 
two kinds of goods. The fifth body supervised 
manufactures, and prevented the frauds arising 
from adulteration. The sixth was employed in 
levying the tax of one-tenth upon all articles sold. 
It is a tribute at once to the Hindu reputation 
for probity and to the severity of Chandragupta's 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 57 

system, that death was the penalty for a false 
declaration of sales 1 . 

To the second and third boards were assigned 
peculiar duties. The second board was charged 
with the task of seeing to the comfort of all travel- 
lers, merchants, ambassadors, and other foreigners 
visiting India 2 . They had to attend them when 
sick, bury them if they died, and send their effects 
to their relatives in their native country. The 
existence of this board points to the supposition 
that a large number of merchants, chiefly, no doubt, 
Greeks from Syria and Alexandria, visited India 
in this reign, attracted by Chandragupta's far- 
sighted foreign policy. The last board of officials 
managed the census reports, and registered births 
and deaths. By this means taxation was facilitated, 
and the practice of infanticide, common among 
certain classes of Hindus, was checked. The 
penalties imposed for various offences were terribly 
severe. We can only suppose that owing to the 
high level of morality prevailing in India, they 
were seldom inflicted. No doubt, however, Chan- 
dragupta's severity accounts very largely for 
his unpopularity. Maiming — a Persian form of 
punishment — was imposed for perjury. The death- 
penalty was, as we have seen, exacted for the 
comparatively trifling offence of defrauding the 

1 Manu, who does not mention the penalty, puts the tax 
at Y V- Evidently the system was later relaxed. Chandra- 
gupta's laws were in all respects exceptionally severe for India. 

2 Compare the duties of the Greek wpogtvos, by whom this 
office was doubtless suggested. 



58 The Mmtrya Empire. Megasthenes 

revenue, and also for disabling a craftsman. Even 
Asoka retained the death-penalty, but he gave 
the criminal three days' respite for religious 
exercises. Apparently, in Chandragupta's time, 
sentence was carried into execution as soon as 
passed. In the days of Fa-Hian, capital punish- 
ment had been removed from the statute-book. 

One feature of Hindu society struck Mega- 
sthenes with admiration. Slavery, a universal 
custom in the Graeco-Roman world, was unknown. 
Had Megasthenes, however, seen the social con- 
ditions of the Chandala or Pariah in the days of 
Hiuen Tsiang, he might have modified his opinions. 
Under the caste-system, the wretched Pariah, 
compelled to dwell outside the city-walls, and to 
strike a gong when he came within range of 
respectable men, fared far worse than the Greek 
or Roman slave. But in the days when Buddhism 
was a growing force in the land, caste regulations 
were doubtless less rigidly enforced. 

Of the moral tone of Hindu society as he saw 
it, Megasthenes speaks in the highest terms. 
Hindus lived frugal, happy lives. Wine was never 
drunk except at the sacrifices, when the Soma juice 
was consumed by the priests. The chief article 
of food was rice-pottage. Polygamy was indeed 
common among the upper classes, but women 
enjoyed great liberty. They studied philosophy, 
and could take monastic vows 1 . The seclusion of 

1 Strabo, xv. 1. 66. Gautama, we are told, made this con- 
cession, but unwillingly. 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 59 

the female sex was only introduced in Moham- 
medan times. Satl, the terrible custom so common 
in later India, was only practised among two tribes, 
and is mentioned as a curiosity, whence we may 
conclude that it was very unusual. It was 
confined to the Kathaei and to Taxila. The 
Kathaei were no doubt a Rajput tribe, who left 
the Amritsar district and occupied the modern 
Kathiawar at a later period. Satl has always been 
commonest among that stern and warlike nation. 
Suicide, chiefly by burning, was always occasionally 
practised among Buddhist ascetics, though strictly 
forbidden by Gautama himself 1 . 

The Indians enjoyed a great and well-founded 
reputation for probity. Of their honesty, Mega- 
sthenes, like Hiuen Tsiang many centuries later, 
speaks in an extraordinarily enthusiastic fashion. 
When he visited the camp of Chandragupta, he 
found that, in the whole of the vast army encamped 
there, the thefts reported amounted to the value 
of less than 200 drachmae per day 2 . They left 
their houses unguarded, made no written contracts, 
and no written laws. They seldom went to law. 
Legal cases were decided according to immemorial 
custom by the local panchay at. Strabo notes that the 

1 The standard example was Kalanus, the notorious 
philosopher who returned with Alexander to Babylon. See 
Frag, xltv, xlv, lv, etc. in Schwanbeck. 

2 Tevc/xfvos 8' ovv iv t<3 HavSpaKOTTov (TTparoiriBdi (f>r)crlv 6 
Mtyao-dtvrjs TtTTapaKovra fxvptdSuiv irXrjOov^ Iftpvofxevov fxrjBefjLcav 
•qp-ipav iBclv dvqviyjxiva K/\c/x/xara ttXzlovo. rj 8ia/coo-iW Spa^/Awi/ c^co. 

Strabo, xv. i. 53. The drachma is worth a franc. 



60 The Maury a Empire. Megasthenes 

Hindus were acquainted with reading and writing, 
and used paper woven from flax. This we should, of 
course, infer from the existence of Asoka's Edicts. 
Strabo also mentions the contrary opinion, which no 
doubt arose from the comparative rarity of written 
books. Laws, religious precepts, even secular poetry 
were committed to memory and handed down 
orally. Fa-Hian had to travel all over India before 
he could obtain texts of the Buddhist Canon. 

The people of Pataliputra dressed well in 
flowered muslins embroidered with jewels, and an 
umbrella was carried by an attendant behind the 
head of a noble when he went into the road. 
Kleitarchus, however, found that in other, poorer 
parts of India, they wore fillets (turbans, no doubt), 
on their long hair, and robes of plain white muslin 
or linen 1 . 

Of the ancient history of India, Megasthenes 
apparently learnt nothing worth recording, save 
legends of a monarch whom he identified with 
Bacchus or Herakles. This is not surprising, as 
the science of history was always entirely neglected 
by the Hindus. Of the religion of the country 
he gives an interesting and intelligent account. 
The principal religious sects were the Brahmins, 
and the Sarmanes, who were the Buddhists and 
Jains. Besides these, there were, then as now, 
various fakirs, Yogis, and other mendicants of 
a low type, who had considerable liberty in the 
houses and markets, helping themselves in the 
1 Strabo, xv. i. 71. 



The Maury a Empire. Megasthenes 61 

bazaars to what they liked. Of Brahmin philo- 
sophy, we do not find so full an account in 
Megasthenes as in later writers 1 . The charming 
fragment quoted from the pseudo-Origen by 
Schwanbeck 2 , appears to owe little to Megasthenes, 
being Neo-platonic in tone. Megasthenes notes, 
however, the similarity between the speculations 
of the Brahmins and the teachings of Pythagoras 
and Plato ; he speaks also of their physical specu- 
lations, and their belief that the world is spherical, 
liable to destruction, and permeated by the presence 
of the Deity 3 . They also, he says, believed in the 
existence of a fifth element — the Akasa or ether. 
These philosophers, he tells us, were devotees of 
Herakles, and there was a tribe called the Sibae, 
who were the descendants of the companions of 
Herakles. Herakles must be Siva and the Sibae 
a Saivite sect. The Greeks loved to identify the 
gods of other nations with their own deities. 
Indra is " Zeus Ombrios " ; the immoral Sakti 
rites of certain tribes {e.g. the Oxydrakae) are the 
Bacchic orgies, and so forth. It has even been 
thought that the name of Mount Meru, suggesting 
the M-qpos of the Bacchus legend, went a long way 

1 Schwanbeck, Frag, xli-xliii. 2 Ibid. liv. 

3 A good example of the out-of-the-way information 
gleaned by Megasthenes is given by Strabo, xv. I. 59. " The 
Brahmins from the time of conception in the womb are under 
the care of learned men who go to the mother with incan- 
tations for the welfare of herself and her offspring/' Here 
is a clear reference to the Pum-Savana and Garbha-Rakshana 
of the Grihya Sutras. (Barnett, Indian Antiq. Ch. iv.) 



62 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

towards confirming, in Greek minds, the persistent 
belief that Bacchus came from India. 

Buddhism was not so popular in the days of 
Megasthenes as it afterwards became under the 
vigorous advocacy of Asoka. Megasthenes says 
nothing of the distinctive teachings of the Sarmanes. 
Their most distinguished members were the Hylo- 
bioi (Vdnaprastha), who retired to the forest and 
lived on the bark of trees. Megasthenes apparently 
fails to distinguish Brahminism from Buddhism, 
as this is a Hindu and not a Buddhistic 
practice. Among the philosophers, Megasthenes 
reckons the physicians, who appear to have 
attained to a high degree of proficiency. No 
doubt the difficulties of ascertaining much about 
Hindu philosophy were very great for a foreigner. 
As the sage Mandanis remarks to Onesikritus, 
" It is impossible to explain philosophical doctrines 
through the medium of interpreters who know 
nothing of the subject. It is like asking water 
to flow pure through mud 1 /' 

Such then, in brief, is the interesting account 
of the great Maurya Empire as it appeared to the 
first Greek who penetrated to the heart of India. 
Its value to us is shown by the fact that without 
it our knowledge of this important period would 
be practically a blank. By comparing what 
Megasthenes has said with the Edicts of Asoka 
and the Ariha Sastra of Chanakya, we are able 
to form a clear picture of the general character 
1 Strabo, xv. i. 64, fin. 



The Maury a Empire. Megasthenes 63 

of Maury a institutions. We see a highly organized 
government, and a nation distinguished for its 
probity and intelligence. The work of Mega- 
sthenes refutes the popular idea that because 
India has no history, she has been incapable of 
developing political institutions. 

We have seen that the Maurya Emperors were 
in close touch with their Greek neighbours and 
kinsmen. Chandragupta has a Greek wife, Greek 
ambassadors in his court, and corresponds with 
the Syrian monarch. Asoka sends missionaries 
to his Greek neighbours. And yet, when we 
examine the matter closely, we find little trace 
of Greek influence in India at the time of the 
Mauryas. On the other hand, they were deeply 
influenced by the now vanished Persian Empire. 
For centuries the Persians had ruled in the Panjab, 
and the Indians had been impressed by the stately 
edifice of Persian rule. Perhaps Chandragupta 
had, during his boyhood in Taxila, come under 
Persian influence. The customs of his court were 
purely Persian. Like the Great King, he lived 
in seclusion, only appearing for religious festivals 
and on solemn occasions. He kept, like him, 
the " hair- washing festival/' Tykta, described by 
Herodotus 1 . Many other institutions of Chandra- 
gupta had their Persian parallels, for instance, the 
Royal Road, and probably the provincial organiza- 
tion. Then again, we see Persian influence in the 
architectural undertakings of Asoka. The Edicts 
1 Herod, ix. no and Strabo, xv. 1. 69. 



64 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

engraved on the rock may be compared to the 
Behistun inscriptions of Darius, and the lion 
capitals of the As oka pillars are clearly Persian 
in style, though that style has undergone con- 
siderable modification. 

APPENDIX I 

THE ROYAL ROAD 

Pliny (vi. 21) says that the stages and distances on the 
Royal Road are as follows : 

i. From Peukelaotis to the Hyphasis, as measured by 
Baeto and Diognetus, Alexander's survey officers. 
Peukelaotis to Taxila, 60 miles. 

,, the Hydaspes, 120 miles. 

„ the Hyphasis, 390 miles. 

2. From the Hyphasis to the mouth of the Ganges, as 
measured for Seleukus Nikator (probably by Megasthenes and 
other Greek visitors 1 ). 
From the Hyphasis to the Hesidrus 168 miles. 
From the Hesidrus to the Jamna 168 miles (some add 5) . 
From the Jamna to the Ganges 112 miles. 
From the Ganges to Rhodopha 119 miles (others give 325 2 ). 
Then follow the words " Ad Kalinapaxam oppidum clxvii.d 
Alii cclxv. mill." This is usually translated, " To the town 
of Kallinapaxa 167 j miles ; others 265 miles," which seems 
a curious discrepancy. St Martin (Etude sur la Geog. Grecque, 

1 " Reliqua Seleuko Nikatori peragrata sunt." This is 
of course a dativus commodi, not a dative of the agent. Seleukus 
never went beyond the Panjab. 

2 By 325 miles he must mean for the whole distance from 
the Hesidrus to Rhodopha, not from the Ganges. He refers 
to a shorter route, the longer route being 168 + 112 + 119 = 
399 miles. There were several short cuts, marked by sign- 
posts, on the road. 







Asoka Pillar (Indo-Persian) 
(By permission of the Director General of Archaeology) 



The Maiirya Empire. Megasthenes 65 

p. 271), transfers the d to the latter clause, reading dlxv for 
cclxv. He then translates as follows. " From Rhodopha to 
Kallinapaxa 167 miles. Total from the Hesidrus to Kallina- 
paxa 565 miles." This is ingenious if bold, for the total figures 
from the Hesidrus to Kallinapaxa (168 + 112 + 119 + 167) do 
add up to 566 miles — practically the exact figure. 

He next goes on to say that to Prayaga is 625 miles (many 
add 13). He must mean from the Jamna to Prayaga, of 
course, and not from Kallinapaxa. 

His two last statements are absolutely wide of the mark. 
He says it is 425 miles to Palibothra and 638 miles to the mouth 
of the Ganges. The distances are in reality 248 and 445 miles 
respectively. The latter part of the road had not been travel- 
led by Megasthenes, who puts it at 500-600 miles. In the 
absence of definite information, the Greeks always exaggerated 
the size of India. 

APPENDIX II 

THE FABULOUS RACES OF INDIA 

1. The Pygmies. Called Pygmies by Ktesias, TpLa-n-dOt/xoi 
by Megasthenes. The legend arose from the small, dwarf-like 
Mongolians of Nepal and Bhotan, called Kirrhadii by the 
Periplus and Ptolemy and Kirdta in Sanskrit. The Pygmies 
of Homer are Ethiopian, but Ethiopia and India were supposed 
to be connected. Referring to the fights between Cranes and 
Pygmies, Lassen recalls the term Kirdtdsin (devourer of Kirata) 
applied to Garuda, the vulture of Vishnu. 

2. 'A|avktt]P€$. The noseless men, described by Mega- 
sthenes as eating carrion and dying young. Again we have 
the snub-nosed Mongolian. Jla^ayos is Skt. sarva-bhaksha. 

3. 'Evotokoitcu. Men who sleep on their ears 1 . A literal 
translation of the Skt. karnaprdvarana. The Indians had many 

1 The legend is as old as Skylax, who also told the story 
of the one-eyed men, and many of the other legends here 
enumerated. Skylax called them 'OtokAu/oi. For the whole 

R.i. 5 



66 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

such names for the aborigines, who hung weights to their 
ears and enlarged them to a great size by this and other means. 

4. "AvTfrroSes or 'OTrio-tfoSaKTvAoi. The men whose feet 
turned backwards. Mentioned by Megasthenes and Ktesias. 
Skt. Paschadangulaja. 

5. 'fticviroSss. A curious mistranslation of Skt. Ekapdda. 
The Movoa-KeXoi, MovokuAoi and 2Kict7roSes of Ktesias 1 , though 
the latter lived in Libya. 

6. The Hyperboreans. This legend, like that of the 
Pygmies, is very old. It may belong to the primitive Indo- 
Aryan stock. They are the Uttara-kuru of the Indian epic, 
transliterated as Attakorae by later writers. Hekataeus wrote 
a pamphlet about them. Pindar places them north of the 
Danube 2 . 

7. Mov<VnaToi. The Skt. Ekdksha. Mentioned by 
Megasthenes. Here again we have a legend which may be 
Indo-Aryan, as we find the Cyclops as early as the Odyssey. 

8. KwoK6<|>a\oi and Kwdfiokyoi. The former are the Skt. 
Svamukha. The latter may be aboriginal tribes who, like 
their successors to-day, may have kept packs of hunting dogs. 
The yellow Tibetan mastiffs of the Dards led to the legend of 
the gold-ants. These people occur in Ktesias and Megasthenes. 

9. "A<rro[i.oi. Mouthless men who live on smell. The Indian 
equivalent has not been traced. 

(Pliny's " Satyrs," N.H. VII. 2, are apes. His ^TpoutfoVoScs, 
women — not men — with ' sparrow feet,' must be the Chinese. 
The early age of marriage and child-bearing in India gave rise 
to stories of women who conceive at five years old. The 
jungle-folk called Choromandae, who have no language, etc., are 
merely aboriginal tribes.) 

subject, see Strabo, Geog. xv. 1. 57, and McCrindle's learned 
note, Ancient India, p. 57. 

1 Apud Pliny, N.H. vn. 2. The story of the SkuxttoScs is 
as old as Hekataeus. 

2 The HavSoprj and MaKpofiioi of Ktesias, and the MdvSoi 
(? IlavSot) of Megasthenes belong to the same class. 



The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 67 
APPENDIX III 

THE ACCURACY OF MEGASTHENES 

In view of Strabo's attacks upon the veracity of Mega- 
sthenes, it is curious to find that his account of the consti- 
tution of Chandragupta finds close confirmation in many details 
in a Hindu book on Politics, traditionally ascribed to Kautilya 
or Chanakya, the famous Brahmin minister of the Maurya 
Emperor. This work is the Kautiliya Artha Sdstra. In this 
book we find the king's palace described very much after the 
manner of Megasthenes, with its moats, ramparts and towers. 
The king is surrounded by a bodyguard of " women armed 
with bows," as Megasthenes says. (Artha Sdstra, II. 3.) 

The Artha Sdstra describes the highly organized bureau- 
cracy in terms very similar to those employed by Megasthenes, 
but in greater detail. Thus Megasthenes tells us that the 
district officers were in charge of the forests, temples, harbours, 
mines, roads, etc. He also describes the six Boards or Pancha- 
yats who managed municipal affairs. Kautilya describes no 
less than fifteen officials or boards of officials who supervised 
municipal affairs. But the general duties assigned to them 
are nearly the same. Thus Kautilya describes a Superin- 
tendent of Commerce and a Superintendent of Warehouses, 
who between them managed the market, fixed the market- 
prices, regulated the trade in agricultural produce, levied the 
subsidies for provisioning the army, and collected the royal 
tithes on goods bought and sold. These were almost precisely 
the duties assigned to the first, fourth, fifth and sixth boards 
in the polity described by Megasthenes. 

The Artha Sdstra mentions a Superintendent of Courtezans 
and of Public Gambling, two functions of the police department 
not occurring in Megasthenes. But Megasthenes tells us how 
the king's agents employed the courtezans to obtain informa- 
tion. This ancient profession was, as in most Indian polities, 
treated as a recognized trade, taxed, inspected, and utilized 

5—2 



68 The Maurya Empire. Megasthenes 

by Government. But on the whole, the two accounts supple- 
ment one another in a remarkable manner, though the Artha 
Sastra increases our opinion of the severity of Chandragupta's 
government. The people were supervised and taxed with 
relentless severity. 

On one important point Kautilya supplies information 
which supplements Megasthenes very considerably. This is 
with regard to the Board of Shipping. The Port Commissioner 
supervised sea and river-traffic and ferries. Fishermen, 
merchants and travellers, were all subjected to taxation and 
the ferries were in the hands of the Government. The fords 
were guarded by pickets, who prevented suspects from entering 
or leaving. It was the duty of the Harbour Masters to assist 
ships in distress, and of those in charge of the ferries to see 
that they were not used when the river was in a dangerous 
state. 

(For a more detailed comparison, see The Ancient Hindu 
Polity, by N. N. Law (Longmans, 1914), especially pp. xxxv — 
xlv, Introduction. For text, see R. Shama Sastri's Edition, 
Mysore, 1909.) 

[Since the above chapter was written, an article by 
Dr D. B. Spooner has appeared in J.R.A.S. 1915, p. 63. The 
author, who is in charge of the excavations at Pataliputra, 
shews that the Persian element therein is far more extensive 
than is commonly supposed. The palace and other buildings 
are modelled on the palace of Darius at Persepolis, and seem 
to have been the work of Persian masons. The caves at 
Barabar etc. (Hiuen Tsiang's " stone-chambers ") are copied 
from the Royal Tombs of the Persian kings. Asura Maya, 
the demon builder of the Mahabharata (see Hopkins, Great 
Epic of India, p. 391), is the demon who according to Hiuen 
Tsiang built Asoka's palace, and is no other than Ahura 
Mazda of Persia, by whose grace Xerxes built his palace 
(Curzon, Persia, II. p. 156).] 



CHAPTER IV 

GREEK AND SEMI-GREEK DYNASTIES OF 
THE PANJAB 

"The grete Emetreus, the king of Inde." 

Knight's Tale, 2156. 

The ancient city of Baktra (Bdkhtri or Bdkhdhi 
in old Persian, the modern Balkh), like Con- 
stantinople or Alexandria, was destined by its 
geographical position to play a leading part in 
the history of the world. On the landward side, 
it was the key to India. At its gates converged 
almost all the great trade-routes of central Asia. 
First, there were the famous " three roads to 
Baktria 1 ," running through Afghanistan and con- 
verging at Balkh. Then there was the road 
through Kashgar to the Stone Tower of Sarikol, 
by which the silk- traders brought their goods. 
Lastly, there were the two great highways to the 
West, the waterway of the Oxus, and the caravan 
road through Parthia to Antioch. 

Balkh had been, for countless years, a Skythian 
settlement before the coming of the Iranians. 

1 rj cts BaKTpiav^V t/hoSos. Strabo, xv. 2. 8. See Bunbury, 
Hist. Anc. Geog. pp. 486-7. 



70 Greek and Semi-Greek 

After their advent, it became the capital of eastern 
Iran, separated from the rest of the Persian Empire 
by the vast Karmanian Desert, and never perfectly 
subdued. It became a fixed policy on the part 
of the Persian kings to leave the satrapy of Baktria 
in a state of practical independence, as it formed 
an outpost against the ever-growing menace of the 
Skythian hordes beyond the Oxus. Baktra was 
famous in Persian literature as the centre of the 
worship of Anahid, probably a Skythian goddess 
originally, who had there a great temple. Baktra 
fell, like the rest of Persia, before the invincible 
arms of Alexander, and formed a natural base for 
his invasion of India. Of the far-reaching projects 
of Alexander, his colonies in the Indus valley, 
and their fate, we have already spoken. Meanwhile 
Baktria, which had been made an important 
Macedonian settlement, became a part of the 
Syrian Empire, until its ruler, a certain Diodotus, 
took advantage of the incessant wars which 
distracted the king's attention to declare himself 
an independent sovereign. Parthia quickly fol- 
lowed suit. This must have been about 250 B.C., 
or a little later. Baktria finally extorted her 
independence in 208 B.C., when Antiochus III, 
after an unsuccessful siege of the capital, acknow- 
ledged the claims of Euthydemus, the Baktrian 
ruler, and gave him a Seleukid princess in marriage. 
Meanwhile, the great Empire of the Mauryas 
was slowly breaking up. A succession of weak 
monarchs followed the death of Asoka in 231 B.C., 



Dynasties of the Panjab 7 1 

and it is not surprising that the Baktrians began 
to turn their attention to the rich plains which 
lay beyond the Paropamisus. There were probably 
already settled there considerable colonies of 
Yavanas, descendants of the Greek soldiers who 
preferred staying in India to participating in the 
evacuation of Eudamus in 317 B.C. At any rate, 
between 190 and 180 B.C., Demetrius, the son 
and successor of Euthydemus, conquered Ariana, 
crossed the Paropamisus, and subdued not only 
Pattalene or Sind, but also Surashtra, — the Kathi- 
awar and Surat districts — and an obscure province 
which Strabo calls Sigertis 1 . At the same time, 
he extended the Baktrian Empire " to the Seres 
and Phrynoi." His object in both these under- 
takings was no doubt commercial. He pushed the 
limits of his realm to the edge of the Pamirs in 
order to control the silk-routes ; and by conquering 
Sind and Kathiawar, he obtained an outlet to 
the sea by the great waterway of the Indus. 
Demetrius, apparently, made his Indian territories 
into a separate province. Its capital was Euthy- 
demeia, the new name which he bestowed, in 
memory of his father, upon the ancient city 
of Sagala 2 . Other towns which he built were 

1 \rj/xr}Tpio<; 6 YjlOv^rjfxov vto? tov BaKTptW /JacrtAetoS ov (jlovov 
&€ rrjv UaTraXrjvrjv KaTecr^cv aAAa /cat tt/s aWrjs 7rapaAtas rrjv tc 
2apaocxTou (MSS. TcacrapiocrTou) Ka\ov/.uvr)v /cat rrjv 2tyepTt'8o9 /3aai- 

A.€iW. Strabo, Geog. xi. II. I. 

2 2aya\a rj /cat EvOvSq/Atia, says Ptolemy. It is probably 
Sialkot. See McCrindle, Ancient India, p. 37; V. A. Smith, 
Anc. Hist. Ind. p. 65 note. 



72 Greek and Semi-Greek 

Demetria in Sind and another town of the same name 
in Arachosia. He probably absorbed the remains 
of the older Greek principalities 1 , whose capital, 
Alexandria-on-Indus, "Alasanda of the Yonas," was 
famous enough to find mention in the chronicles of 
the remote island of Ceylon. The fine coins struck 
by Demetrius illustrate very appropriately the 
events of his reign. In some, he wears upon Ms 
head a wonderful elephant-headed helmet, appro- 
priate to the conqueror of India 2 . Another type 3 , 
issued no doubt for circulation in his Indian 
domains, is the square type, bearing an inscription 
in Kharoshthi, the script then almost exclusively 
used in the North- West Frontier. A third type 
represents the king in extreme old age. On the 
reverse stands Anahid, the goddess of Baktra, with 
her starry crown 4 . It was in his old age that the 
great conqueror was defeated by a rival named 

1 Or are we to attribute this to Eukratides ? Eukratides 
restrikes the coins of Apollodotus, and it may be supposed 
that Apollodotus was an indigenous " Yavana " prince and 
not a Baktrian. His coins are of a type all their own (Gardner, 
IX. 8-13). Another explanation is, of course, that Apollodotus 
was a prince of the House of Euthydemus, who reigned at 
Kapisa, and was conquered by Eukratides along with De- 
metrius and other members of the family. His coins are 
certainly associated with those of Menander. But there may 
be two princes of the same name. 

2 Gardner, Cat. of Greek and Indo-Scythic Coins in the B.M. 
II. 9-12. 

3 Ibid. xxx. 3. 

4 Ibid. in. 1. For the crown, see Zend Avesta in S.B.E. 
11. 82. 



Dynasties of the Panjab 73 

Eukratides, perhaps his grandson 1 , who raised a 
rebellion against him during his absence 2 . Though 
Demetrius had an army of sixty thousand men, 
and his opponent's forces dwindled down to three 
hundred followers, Eukratides managed, after a 
blockade of five months, to cut his way out to 
safety and finally to depose Demetrius 3 . But the 
way of transgressors is hard, for Eukratides was 
finally slain, on his return from India, by his own 
son, who declared him to be "a public enemy and 
not a parent," and driving his chariot through his 
father's blood, ordered the body to be left unburied 
where it had fallen 4 . 

It is difficult to decide whether the parricide was 
Apollodotus II or Heliokles. Apollodotus II (it 
is usually supposed that there were two princes of 
the name), however, places the epithets ^ikouaroyp 
kcu Icottjp on his coins, and the title would be 
somewhat incongruous under the circumstances. 
We are, therefore, driven to suppose that the 
murderer was Heliokles 5 . This was about 156 B.C. 

1 See the Author's Baktria (Probsthain, 1912), pp. 155-6. 

2 Epit. xli. 6. " Multa tamen Eukratides bella magna 
virtute gessit quibus attritus cum obsidionem Demetrii regis 
Indorum pateretur cum ccc militibus lx milia hostium 
assiduis eruptionibus vicit. Quinto itaque mense liberatus 
Indiam in potestatem redegit." 

3 Date c. 174 B.C. Justin says that both Mithradates and 
Eukratides came to the throne about the same time. {Epit. 
xli. 6. 1.) 4 Justin, ibid. 

5 See, however, Cunningham, Num. Chron. 1869, p. 241 ; 
Rapson, J.R.A.S. 1905, p. 783 ; Tarn, " Hellenism in Baktria," 
J.H.S. 1902, p. 272. 



74 Greek and Semi-Greek 

Eukratides was, if we may judge from his coins, 
a proud, determined man. One of these, a triumph 
of the coiner's art, represents him as wearing the 
Kausia 1 or sun hat. On the reverse are the 
charging Dioskuri 2 . 

The murder of Eukratides struck a fatal blow 
to the fortunes of Baktria. The country was beset 
by enemies. On the one side was Parthia, her 
ancient and inveterate rival. Under Mithradates I, 
she had already inflicted one serious reverse on 
Baktria, and had recaptured two outlying pro- 
vinces 3 . On the other side, a still graver menace 
presented itself. The dangers of a Skythian invasion 
from across the Oxus had long threatened Baktria. 
Antiochus III had been induced to spare the town 
chiefly because, if it fell, " the Hellenic world would 
obviously be soon overrun by the barbarians 4 / ' 
The cause of the new invasion which now promised 
to inundate the country south of the Oxus was 

1 Kavo-ia from /catw, the modern solar topi. 

2 Gard. v. 7. The coins of Demetrius, Eukratides and 
Antimachus are among the finest of the ancient world. It is 
impossible to account for this outburst of art in a remote corner 
of the Hellenic world. But the most artistic Greek nations 
were not the most skilful coiners, e.g. the coins of Athens are 
by no means remarkable and do not compare with those of 
Sicily. 

3 tyJv 'Acnrtiovrjv kolI rrjv Tovpiovav a<pyjpr}VTO EvKpaTiS^v ot 

ITap(9uarot. Strabo, xi. 11. Mithradates imitates the coins of 
Demetrius and Eukratides, and Orosius has a tale that he 
invaded India as far as the Indus. 

4 eKpapftapu)6r}(r€or6ai rrjv 'EAA.aSa o/xoXoyov/xcVws. Polybius, 

xi. 34. 



Dynasties of the Punjab 75 

primarily a migration, from central Asia, of the great 
nomad tribe of the Yueh-chi, who, about 165 B.C., 
had been driven out of their pasture-lands, and 
had moved southwards, pressing before them in 
their turn the Sakae or Skythian tribes who lay 
on the borders of Sogdiana. The first omens 
of the coming trouble appeared in Parthia. A body 
of Skythian mercenaries, who, driven out of their 
native country by the advance of the tribes from 
central Asia, had enlisted in the service of Parthia, 
rebelled. A war followed, in which the Parthian 
monarch Artabanus was killed by a poisoned 
arrow 1 . Parthia, however, managed to beat back 
the invaders. It was otherwise with the Baktrians. 
Having dissipated their strength in various ambi- 
tious schemes, the Baktrian monarchs, exhausted 
by wars with the Parthians, Indians, and Sakae, 
were literally " drained of their life-blood " as 
Justin says, and unable to offer an effective 
resistance 2 . At first the Sakae contented them- 
selves with occupying Sogdiana : finally, however, 
they pushed across the Oxus, and Heliokles and 
his followers were compelled to seek refuge in 
their domains across the Hindu Kush, and abandon 
Baktria to the invaders. 

1 Justin, xlii. I, 2. 

2 Baktriani per varia bella jactati non regnum tantum, 
verum etiam libertatem amiserunt : siquidem Sogdianorum et 
Drangianorum Indorumque bellis fatigati ad postremum ab 
invalidioribus Parthis velut exsangues oppressi sunt. Justin, 
xli. 6. 



76 Greek and Semi-Greek 

The Greek kingdom south of the Hindu Kush, 
did not, however, long remain intact. Even 
Eukratides had found it impossible to govern his 
extensive dominions single-handed, and had dele- 
gated part of his powers to his son 1 . Of the petty- 
princes who split up the Panjab among them, we 
know nothing except what we like to infer from 
the coins which have been unearthed from time 
to time. Many of these are extraordinarily fine, 
but they shed little light upon their strikers' 
history. If we may rely at all upon similarity 
of types and legends 2 , we may infer that some 
of these princelets belonged to the house of Eukra- 
tides, and others to that of Euthydemus. About 
others we are quite uncertain. Thus we know that 
Agathokles and Antimachus claim descent from 
Euthydemus and Diodotus respectively 3 . Plato's 
coin is dated 165 B.C. 4 , which makes him an early 
contemporary, probably a viceroy, of Eukratides. 
Apollodotus II, Strato, and Menander, employ 
the figure of Athene hurling the bolt, which first 
appears on the coins of Euthydemus. Hence we 
infer that they belong to his family. Heliokles, 
supposed to be the son and murderer of Eukratides, 
restrikes the coins of Strato, probably because he 

1 Eukratides a filio, quern socium regni fecerat, interficitur. 
Justin, xli. 6. 

2 This is, of course, a most untrustworthy guide. 

3 Gardner, p. xxviii, Introd. 

4 He also wears on his helmet the bull's ear and horn of 
Eukratides. Gardner, vi. II. 



Dynasties of the Panjab 77 

conquered territory belonging to the rival house. 
Antialkidas, on the other hand, restrikes coins of 
Eukratides. Diomedes 1 reproduces in a barbarous 
fashion the charging Dioskuri of Eukratides ; hence 
we may suppose that he is a scion of that house. 
These problems, however, belong to the province 
of the numismatist rather than the historian, and 
these petty rulers are unknown to us except for 
their coins. About forty of them divided Sind and 
the Panjab between them during the two centuries 
before and after the birth of Christ, and the epithet 
" fiercely fighting/ ' applied to them by the Hindu 
writers, indicates fairly correctly, no doubt, the 
extent of their achievements. The " fierce fighting" 
was, doubtless between the rival houses. At first 
the family of Eukratides was successful. Eukra- 
tides beat Apollodotus II, and wrested from him 
the Kapisa district ; Heliokles won territories 
from Strato. But with Antialkidas and Menander 
the tide turned in favour of the house of Euthy- 
demus, though the family of Eukratides retained 
the Gandhara and Kabul districts till the coming 
of the Sakae. 

Only one of these monarchs achieved any real 
greatness. This was king Menander, or Milinda as 
he is called by the Buddhist writers, of whose 
career some details have been preserved in a 
Buddhist treatise, the Milinda Panha, and in 
passages of Strabo and Plutarch. To him, too, we 
should very probably attribute the remarkable 
1 Gardner, vm. 12. 



78 Greek and Semi-Greek 

Greek invasion of the Ganges Valley which pene- 
trated almost to the walls of Pataliputra itself, 
and which is mentioned by more than one Indian 
writer 1 . According to the Milinda Panha 2 , Menan- 
der was born, probably soon after the conquest of 
the Panjab by Demetrius, perhaps about 180 B.C., 
in a village called Kalasi, on the island of Alasanda. 
This was no doubt an island at the confluence 
of the Indus and Akesines, which took its name 
from the adjacent town of Alexandria-on-Indus, 
the modern Ucch. His father may have been a 
viceroy, probably a relation, of Demetrius, left in 
charge of this important post. Strabo, who couples 
together, on the authority of Apollodorus of Arte- 
mita 3 , the names of Demetrius and Menander, 
says that both monarchs made themselves masters 
of the Panjab, Sind, and the Kathiawar coast. 
Menander ascended the throne of Sagala, which 
probably retained the position of the premier 
state or capital of the Greek principalities, about 
155 B.C. It was about this time, no doubt, that 
his conversion to Buddhism took place 4 . Buddhism, 

1 This is usually taken for granted by writers, but is by no 
means proved. 

2 Trans. Rhys Davids in S.B.E. vol. xxxv. 

3 Geog. xi. 11. 1 (quoted above). Many of Menander 's 
coins bear the figure of Herakles or an elephant, both devices 
found also on the coins of Demetrius. Compare the coins 
of Menander in Gardner, xn, with those of Eukratides in 
Gardner, III. 2. 

4 There is no reason to doubt Menander's conversion, 
though the evidence of the coins is inconclusive. We know 



Dynasties of the Panjab 79 

which had been made, thanks to the efforts of 
As'oka, the official religion of northern India, 
appealed especially to the casteless foreigners of 
the Indus valley. In the Middle Land, with the 
collapse of the Maurya dynasty, Brahminism was 
gradually beginning to reassert itself, though it 
encountered set-backs when foreign kings like Ka- 
nishka or Menander wielded a temporary supremacy 
over India. 

Of the capital as it was in the time of Menander, 
the author of the Milinda Panha gives us a fasci- 
nating description, which may not be entirely 
fanciful : 

" There is, in the country of the Yonakas, a great 
centre of trade, a city that is called Sagala, situated in 
a delightful country, well-watered and hilly, abounding 
in parks and gardens and groves and lakes and tanks, 
a paradise of rivers and mountains and woods. Wise 
architects have laid it out, and its people know of no 
oppression, since all their enemies and adversaries have 
been put down 1 . Brave is its defence, with many and 
various strong towers and ramparts with superb gates 
and entrance archways, and with the royal citadel in 
its midst, white-walled and deeply-moated. Well laid- 
out are its streets, squares, cross-roads, and market-places. 
Well-displayed are the innumerable sorts of costly 
merchandise with which its shops are filled 2 . It is richly 

from cave inscriptions that " Yonas " often adopted 
Buddhism as their creed. 

1 Does this refer to Menander' s reduction of his Greek 
and Saka rivals ? 

2 Menander had access to the sea on the one hand and the 
Seres on the other. See the quotation from Strabo given above. 



80 Greek and Semi-Greek 

adorned with hundreds of alms halls of various kinds, 
and splendid with hundreds of thousands of magnificent 
mansions which rise aloft like the peaks of the Himalayas. 
Its streets are filled with elephants, horses, carriages, 
and foot-passengers and crowded by men of all sorts 
and conditions, — Brahmins, nobles, artificers and servants. 
They resound with cries of welcome to teachers of every 
creed, and the city is the resort of leading men of each 
of the different sects. Shops are there for the sale of 
Benares muslin, of Kotumbara stuffs, and of other cloths 
of various kinds ; and sweet odours are exhaled from the 
bazaars where all sorts of flowers and perfumes are 
tastefully set out. Jewels are there in plenty and guilds 
of traders in all sorts of finery display their goods in the 
bazaars which face all quarters of the sky." 

Menander was not content, however, with the 
conquest of the Panjab. He aimed at nothing 
less than the Empire of all northern India, the 
position of Chakravarti, attained by his great 
predecessor, Chandragupta. Perhaps his object 
was partly religious. He may have hoped to restore 
the Dharma to its old dominant position in 
Pataliputra from which it had been ousted by the 
Sunga kings. Of his invasion of Magadha, echoes 
are found in contemporary Hindu literature 1 . 
Menander's first move was against the frontier 
towns of Maghada. He besieged Mathura, Ma- 
dhyamika near Chitor, and Saketa in Oude. 

1 As already pointed out, it is highly probable, but not 
absolutely certain, that the Yavana invasion here referred to 
was conducted by Menander. But the passage of Strabo, 
quoted below, shews that Menander did invade Magadha, 
and we have no records of another such Baktrian invasion. 



Dynasties of the Punjab 8 1 

" The Yavana was besieging Saketa : the Yavana 
was besieging Madhyamika/' are examples given 
by the contemporary grammarian Patafijali of 
the imperfect tense, which indicates an event 
which has recently taken place, and is still fresh 
in men's memories. About this time the aged 
Pushy amitra, who had usurped the throne of the 
last of the Mauryas in 184 B.C., was contemplating 
offering the ancient Brahminical sacrifice of 
Asvamedha, to celebrate his ascendancy over his 
neighbours. He received an unexpected check. 
On the banks of the Sindhu 1 river, the sacred 
horse and its bodyguard, under the command of 
the young Crown Prince Agnimitra, were attacked 
by a party of Yavana horsemen (perhaps a detach- 
ment of the army besieging Madhyamika), and all 
but carried off 2 . Nor did Menander stop here. 
Pressing on, he began to threaten Pataliputra 
itself, to the great alarm of the inhabitants. 
1 When the viciously valiant Yavanas," says the 
author of the Gargi Samhita, " after reducing 
Saketa, the Panchala country, and Mathura, 
reach the royal residence of Pataliputra, all the 
provinces will be in disorder/' He penetrated, 
says Strabo, right to the Soanus 3 . But the fears 

1 Between Rajputana and Bundelkhand. Not, of course, the 
Indus. 

2 See the drama called Mdlavikdgnimitra, trans. Tawney, 

P . 78. 

3 ttXclu) XBvv\ Ka.Te<TTpei(/avTO rj 'AA-t^avSpo?, koX /xaAtcrra 6 MeVav- 
8pos, etyc tov "Y-rracnv Sufir} 7rpos €to kou /J.*XP L t °v ^odvov 7rporj\6e (MSS 
"Yttclviv. . ,'Io-a/xov). Stiabo, XI. II. I. 

R.I. 6 



82 Greek and Semi-Greek 

of contemporary writers were not realised, and 
Menander, as far as we know, never entered the 
ancient capital of Asoka. " The fiercely-fighting 
Greeks/' we are told, " did not stay long in 
Madhyadesa : a cruel strife had broken out in 
their own country/' Menander returned, and died 
soon after in the field. According to a Siamese 
version of the Milinda Panha he was looked upon 
at the time of his death as an Arhat, a Buddhist 
saint of high degree. And so, says Plutarch, 
his subject states strove for his ashes, which they 
finally divided among them, and placed beneath 
great ddgabas in their own land, just as was done 
in the case of Gautama Buddha himself 1 . His 
coins are found in great quantities all over North- 
Western India, and as far south as Hamirpur 
in the Jamna district. Over two centuries after 
Menander's death, the author of the Periplus 
found them still current at the port of Broach 2 . 
The war which recalled Menander was probably 
a Saka invasion. The Saka tribes, pushed steadily 
southwards by the advance of the Yueh-chi, and 

1 M.€V(ivSpOV Sc TIVOS 67Tt€t/C(3s fidCTL^VCraVTOS KOLL aTToOoLVOVTOS 

cVi. CTTpaT07re8ov, Trjv fxlv aWrjv Krjheiav iironjaavTO Kara to kolvov 
at 7roA.€ts* irepl he rutv XiLif/dvcov avrov KaraoTaVTes els aywva, /x,oA.ts 
(rvve^rja-av, (xkttc v€t/w,a/x,€i/ot (xtpos Icrov rfjs T€$pas dirtkOtiv kol 
yevia-Oai uv^ucta 7rapa iraa-t rov dvSpoV De Rep. Get. 21. 

For Gautama's funeral, see Mahaparinibbana Sutta in 
S.B.E. xi. 131. 

2 § 47. Mexpi vvv iv Bapvya£ais 7raAaiat Trpo^wpovcrt 8pa^/xat... 
€7rL(TY}fxa twv fxer 'AAe^ai/Spov fitfiaaiXzvKOTOiv 'AttoWoBotov kol 
Me rav Spov. 



Dynasties of the Panjab 83 

hemmed in on the west by the Parthians, over- 
flowed Baktria and crossed the Helmand river into 
the country still known as Sakastene or Seistan. 
Here they were joined by allied Parthian or Pahlava 
tribes, and made their way into India through the 
Bolan Pass. Entering the Panjab, they quickly 
superseded the now decaying power of the Baktrian 
Greeks, excepting a small principality ruled over 
by members of the house of Eukratides, which 
still held out in the Kabul valley. The invaders 
set up two allied kingdoms. At Mathura reigned 
the Saka line which was founded by Moga or Maues, 
who was apparently reigning in 93 B.C. Among 
his successors was Azes, whose coins indicate that 
he ruled over a wide area. Under him were the 
satraps Liaka Kusulaka and Patika at Taxila, and 
Rajavula and Sodasa at Mathura. 1 . These rulers 
restrike the coins of Demetrius, Eukratides, and 
Strato, whose territories they doubtless conquered. 
Meanwhile, a Parthian prince named Vonones set 
up a dynasty in Baluchistan and Khandahar, and 
the two families were finally united under the rule of 
the Parthian prince Gondophares in the first century 
a.d. Gondophares is interesting, as, according to 
a widely-spread legend, he and his followers were 

1 There is, of course, much argument on all these points, and 
the identity of Maues with Moa, and his date, are still under 
discussion. But a detailed account is here out of place. See 
V. A. Smith, Ancient India, ch. VII. The coins are barbarous 
imitations of debased Indian models, with Parthian titles like 
/foo-iAcvs fiaaiXioiv, Chhatrapa, etc. 

6—2 



84 Greek and Semi-Greek 

converted to Christianity by the Apostle Thomas. 
At the same time, a Saka chief of the Kshaharata 
clan named Nahapana gained some temporary 
successes against the Andhra monarchs in the 
Northern Deccan, and struck some creditable imita- 
tions of Indo-Greek coins. 

Lastly, about the last quarter of the first 
century B.C., the Yueh-chi, after conquering 
Baktria, descended upon India. The leading tribe, 
the Kushans, had now gained the supremacy, and 
headed by the monarch Kujula Kadphises, they 
invaded Kabul, and conquered the last of the 
Baktrian monarchs, Hermaeus, as the coins clearly 
indicate 1 . The Kushan kings finally, at a date 
which is still quite uncertain, conquered and 
superseded the Indo-Parthian dynasty, and under 
their monarch Kanishka, became the paramount 
power in India. The Kushans had, no doubt, 
many Greek and semi-Greek subjects, and it is 
uncertain whether they employed Baktrian Greeks 
or outsiders to execute the remarkable Gandhara 
sculptures which are the most striking relic of 
their period which we possess 2 . Their coins are 
singularly interesting. They bear traces of imita- 
tion of both Baktrian and Roman models, but they 
also shew a great deal of artistic originality and 
power of realistic portraiture. The Greek element 
in India was now rapidly absorbed. Yavanas 
appear among the pious donors in the Buddhist 

1 Gard. xxv. 1-3. 

2 For a fuller discussion of this point, see ch. VII. 



INDO-GREEK AND INDIAN COINS 

i. Gold double daric, struck in the Panjab in the time 
of the Persian occupation. Probably belongs to Darius 
Codomannus, 337 B.C. (Rapson, Indian Coins, 1. 5.) 

2. Athenian owl, probably struck in India in imitation 
of Athenian coinage. (Ibid. 1. 6.) 

3. Coin of Sophy tes (Saubhuti), king of the Salt Range 
at the time of Alexander's invasion. (Ibid. 1. 8.) 

4. Coin of Eukratides, king of Baktria, Kabul, and the 
Panjab (c. 175 B.C.). (Gardner, B.M. Cat. v. 8.) 

5. Coin of Demetrius, king of Baktria, Kabul, and the 
Panjab (c. 190 B.C.). (Ibid. 11. 9.) 

6. Coin of Menander, Greek king of the Panjab (Sakala) 
(c. 165 B.C.). (Ibid. xi. 7.) 

7. Coin of Maues, Saka ruler in the Panjab, who con- 
quered the territories of Demetrius (?c. 21 a.d.). (Ibid. xxi. 1.) 

8. Coin of Nahapana, Kshaharata chieftain who ruled 
in the northern Deccan and Gujarat (c. 100 a.d.). (Rapson, 
op. cit. in. I.) 

9. Coin of Kanishka, the greatest of the Kushan kings, 
who ruled at Peshawar. His date is disputed, perhaps 
c. 120 a.d. (Gardner, op. cit. xxvi. I.) 

10. Coin of Samudragupta, Gupta Emperor of Northern 
India, 326 a.d. (Allen, B.M. Cat. v. 1.) 

11. Coin of Pulumavi, Andhra king of the Deccan, 
1st century a.d. (Rapson, Andhra Cat. v. 89.) 

12. Coin of Kanishka, with standing figure of Buddha 
and Greek inscription BOAAO. (Gardner, op. cit. xxvi. 8.) 

To face coin plate 




' - — -r 




11 



/& 







Indo-Greek and Indian Coins 



Dynasties of the Panjab 85 

caves of Karla and Nasik, but they bear Indian 
titles, and were doubtless Greek in little more 
than name. Perhaps the latest reference to them 
occurs in the inscription of the Andhra queen 
Balasri, 144 a.d., who boasts that she rooted 
the " Sakas, Yavanas and Pahlavas," out of the 
Deccan for ever 1 . 



APPENDIX 

GREEK AND SEMI-GREEK RULERS IN BAKTRIA 
AND THE PANJAB 

(This list is entirely conjectural. Semi-Greek includes all 
kings minting coins which have Greek inscriptions. The 
various theories on this vexed subject may be found in 
Gardner's Catalogue of Greek and Indo-Scythian Coins in the 
B.M., V. A. Smith's Early History of India, Ch. vui.-ix., 
Duff's Chronology of India, Barnett's Chronology in An- 
tiquities of India, pp. 36-94, and articles in the J.R.A.S. 
and other Oriental Journals.) 

I. Greek Kings of Baktria 

Diodotus I, 250 B.C. Diodotus II, 245 B.C. 

Euthydemus I, 230 B.C. 

II. Greek Kings of Baktria and Sagala 

Demetrius, 200 B.C. Eukratides, 165 B.C. 

Heliokles, 156 B.C. 

1 Karla Inscr. No. 17 (Archaeological Survey of Western 
India, ed. Biihler, iv. 109.) Her son Gautamiputra actually 
carried this out. 



86 



Greek and Semi-Greek 



III. Greek Kings of Sagala and other 

PRINCIPALITIES IN N.W. INDIA 

(a) Family of Euthydemus 

Antimachus Pantaleon 

Agathocles Euthydemus II 

Philoxenus Strato I and II and 

Menander Agathokleia 

Apollodotus II Antialkidas 

Menander 



(b) Family of Eukratides 



Plato (contemporary) 

Lysias 

Hippostratus 

Pantaleon 

Diomedes 



Apollophanes 

Epander 

Amyntas 

Artemidorus 

Nikias 



Zoilus 

Antimachus 
Philoxenus 
Archebius 

Hermaeus (last Greek ruler, de- 
posed about 25 B.C.) 

[c) Uncertain 

Hippostratus 

Epander 

Telephus 

Peukelaus 

Zoilus 



IV. Saka and Indo-Parthian 

(a) Saka Princes (House of Maues) 

Maues c. 93 B.C. 1 Azes I and II 

Azilises 



1 This is quite uncertain. Fleet says 21 A. D. 



Dynasties of the Panjab 87 



(b) Indo-Parthian Princes (House of Vonones) 

Vonones 

Spalirises (brother of Vonones) 

Gondophares (ist cent, a.d., unites Sakas and 

Parthians) 
Orthagnes 
Arsakes 
Pakores 
Sandbares 



(c) Satraps subordinate to Maues 
P"t"k I Satraps of Taxila 

^ ' „ a J [ Satraps of Mathura 

Sodasa ) 



(d) Kshaharata satraps 
Bhumaka Nahapana 

V. Kushan Kings 

Kujula Kadphises, c. 25 B.C. 
Wima Kadphises 
Kanishka 78 a.d. 1 
Huvishka 
Vasudeva 



1 This would be Kanishka's date if he is regarded as the 
founder of the Saka era. Fleet, Barnett and others, apparently 
consider Kanishka as the, first of the Kushan line, and identify 
his accession with the commencement of the Vikramaditya 
era, i.e. 58 B.C. 



CHAPTER V 

THE PTOLEMIES 

We now turn to another aspect of Indian 
intercourse with the West — the trade with Egypt. 
The Hellenization of Egypt was one of the most 
important results of Alexander's conquests, for 
Egypt became the true centre of Greek culture 
in the Hellenistic world, after Athens had dwindled 
into insignificance. The port of Alexandria was 
admirably chosen as the site of a great town. 
Not only does it tap the vast resources of the 
opulent country which lies along the banks of 
that great waterway, the Nile, but it enjoys an 
almost ideal situation as an emporium for trade 
between Europe and the East. It is on the Medi- 
terranean, yet within easy distance of the head of 
the Red Sea. Alexandria is still an undying 
monument to the imperial genius of the great 
Macedonian whose name it bears. Like Con- 
stantinople, Baktra, and some other towns, it 
stands at the meeting-place of nations, in a spot 
destined by the nature of things to play a great 
part in the history of the world. 

Many circumstances concurred, in the two 
centuries before Christ, to make the Red Sea 



The Ptolemies 89 

route the most popular trade-route with the East. 
The anarchy reigning in Syria, and the growth of 
the hostile empire of Parthia, diverted the com- 
merce from the more northerly routes. These 
were rendered still more unsafe by the irruption 
of the Skythian tribes from beyond the Oxus into 
Baktria. Another circumstance which tended to 
make Alexandria the metropolis of the Eastern 
Mediterranean, and which had effectually crippled 
her only possible rival, was the sack by Alexander 
of the great city of Tyre. 

The ancient port of Naukratis had been com- 
paratively neglected in favour of Tyre by the 
Oriental traders, owing to the long and perilous 
desert-journey between the Nile and the Red Sea. 
For the greater part of the year it was so intensely 
hot that the caravans had to move at night, 
guiding themselves across the trackless sands by 
means of stars, and carrying their own water- 
supply, like mariners, says Strabo 1 . Early 
attempts to remedy this by means of a canal 
between the two waterways had been made from 
time to time. The first attempt of this kind 
was due to a Sesostris of the twentieth century 
B.C. Pharaoh Necho and Darius the Great 2 , 
and finally Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.), 
revived the idea. The latter built a large port 
at Arsinoe, the modern Suez, for the purpose. 
Owing, however, to the dangerous nature of the 
navigation of the Heroopolite Gulf, with its shoals 
1 Geog. xvii. 1. 45. 2 Herod. 11. 158. 



90 The Ptolemies 

and treacherous winds and currents, the scheme 
had finally to be abandoned 1 , and it was left 
to the genius of De Lesseps in our own times to 
carry it into effect. Merchants preferred to take 
their goods to Aelana 2 , the ancient Ezion Geber, 
whence they were transported to the great emporium 
of Petra, and thence to the Levantine ports. 
Ptolemy now reverted to the old idea of a port 
on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea, connected 
with the Nile by a desert-road furnished with 
convenient oases. The spot chosen had a fine 
natural harbour, and was two hundred and fifty- 
eight miles from the trading station of Koptos 
(Koft), on the bend of the river 3 . Merchandise 
was to be conveyed overland to Koft, and floated 
down-stream to Alexandria. The port which was 
built at the chosen site was named Berenike 4 , 
after the king's mother. A desert-road, furnished 
with eight Hydreumata or watering-places, con- 
nected Koft and Berenike. The first, says Pliny 5 , 
was twenty- two miles from Koptos; the next, a day's 
journey (about twenty miles) ; the third, ninety-five 

1 Strabo, Geog. xvi. 4. 6. 

2 Or rather, to Leuke Kome, further down the coast and 
safer for ships. From Leuke Kome goods went through Petra 
to Rhinocolura ( El Arish) , a penal settlement on the Egyptian 
border of Palestine, and thence to Egypt. Strabo, Geog. xvi. 
4. 24. 

3 Koft (Lat. 26 N.) is now a mile from the river bank. 

4 2 3° 55' N. 35 34' E. The remains of the town may still 
be seen. 

5 N.H. vi. 26. 



The Ptolemies 91 

miles from the base ; the fourth, on a hill, at an un- 
certain distance ; the fifth (the Apollo Hydreuma) 
one hundred and eighty-four miles ; the sixth, on 
a mountain ; the seventh, the New Hydreuma, 
was two hundred and thirty miles from the base ; 
the last, seven miles further on, had a caravanserai, 
for two thousand persons and a guard. A single 
day's journey from here brought the merchant to 
the sea. The journey took eleven or twelve days, 
even under the most favourable conditions. In 
274 B.C., a further improvement was made. 
Philadelphus built another port at Myos Hormos 1 f 
(Mussel Harbour) one hundred and eighty miles 
north of Berenike, and five days nearer Koptos. 
Myos Hormos, situated in the bay of Ras abn 
Somer, near the Jifatin Islands, is a much safer 
harbour than Berenike, which had awkward shoals 
and was exposed to the wind 2 . Myos Hormos 
was thus almost an ideal port and became the 
great trading centre for the East Indian trade, 
quickly eclipsing all its rivals 3 . Further down the 
coast were Adulis (the modern Massowa) and 
Ptolemais Epitheron (Ptolemais of the Hunts), 
a great rendezvous of the elephant-hunters from 
Nubia. Besides the value of their ivory, elephants 
had been in great requisition for military purposes, 
ever since the five hundred presented by Chandra- 
gupta to Seleukus Nikator had taken a prominent 

1 27 12' N. 33 55' E. 

2 Strabo, Geog. xvi. 4. 6. 

3 Ibid. 24. 



92 The Ptolemies 

part in the battle of Ipsus 1 . They had been 
employed by Porus against Alexander and were 
later used by Pyrrhus and Hannibal against the 
Romans. The tactical value of these unwieldy 
beasts against well-disciplined troops is not great, 
and they quickly fell into disrepute in European 
warfare. They continued, however, to form one 
of the four traditional " arms " of the Indian army 
and were freely used as late as the days of the 
Moghal Empire. Ptolemais of the Hunts was 
probably not far from Port Sudan, and may then, 
as now, have been linked with the Nile by a road 
running to Berbera. The port of Adulis was 
chiefly famous for the inscription, preserved for 
us by Kosmas Indikopleustes 2 , which recites the 
conquests of Ptolemy Euergetes (247-233 B.C.). It 
was the natural port for Abyssinia and the Sudan. 
The knowledge possessed about India by the 
Alexandrian Greeks was chiefly due to Erato- 
sthenes, the learned President of the Library from 
240-196 B.C., though some facts must have been 
made known before this by Dionysius, who had 
been sent to India, says Pliny, in the reign of 
Philadelphus on an embassy, and published details 
about the forces of the Indian nations on his 
return. His account of India, contained in the 
third book of his Geography, was considered by 

1 Antiochus III was given one hundred and fifty by 
Subhagasena. Polybius, xi. 34. Dittenberger, Orientis Graeci 
Inscriptiones Selectae, 54. 

2 Bunbury, Anc. Geog. 11, 609. 



The Ptolemies 93 

Strabo 1 to be of the greatest value, superior to 
that of Megasthenes. Eratosthenes depended for 
his information upon the data supplied by Pa- 
trokles, an officer who held an important command 
over the eastern provinces of the Syrian Empire 
under Seleukus Nikator and Antiochus I. He 
appears to have used the opportunities he thus 
enjoyed in an admirable manner, and to have 
collected much invaluable information. Erato- 
sthenes goes a good deal further than his con- 
temporaries in his knowledge of the general 
configuration of India, which he describes as a 
rhomboid, its four sides being composed of the 
Indus, the Himalayas, and the shores of the 
Eastern and Southern Oceans respectively 2 . He 
knows of the Royal Road to Pataliputra and of 
the mouth of the Ganges. He has heard of the 
" summer rains/' brought by the Etesian winds, 
and watering the flax, rice, millet, and other crops. 
He calls the people of Southern India the Koniaki 
(a reminiscence of Cape Kory), and he has heard 
of Ceylon and its numerous elephants 3 . 

At this time, however, there was little direct 
trade with India. Athenaeus tells us that in the 
processions of Ptolemy Philadelphus were to be 
seen Indian women, Indian hunting dogs, and 
Indian cows, among other strange sights; also 
Indian spices carried on camels. The same 

1 Strabo, Geog. xv. 10. 

2 Strabo, I. I. 22 and xv. 11. Arrian, Indika, in. See 
Cunningham, Anc. Geog. of India, p. 1. 3 Strabo, xv. 14. 



94 The Ptolemies 

authority tells us that Ptolemy Philopator's yacht 
had a saloon lined with Indian stone 1 . Agathar- 
chides, the learned tutor of Ptolemy Soter II 
(116 B.C.) writes enthusiastically of the commercial 
enterprise of the Egyptian monarchs, and the wealth 
and number of the Red Sea ports. But his know- 
ledge ends there. He speaks of Sokotra as " recently 
discovered," as if Alexandrian sailors had only just 
ventured outside the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, 
and then not far. In more than one place he 
indicates that merchandise was not brought direct 
from India, but carried to an intermediate port 
and there bought and shipped by the Alexandrian 
traders. For instance, in speaking of the great 
riches of Arabia Felix, he says it was partly due 
to the Indian traders who came in great numbers 
from Potana, the port founded by Alexander on 
the Indus. Potana is of course Patala 2 : the very 
mistake shews how ignorant Agatharchides is of 
Indian matters. Evidently Indian goods were taken 
to Muza 3 or Aden, two ports at the mouth of the 
Red Sea, and there transhipped. Aden, called, 
from the country in which it lay, Arabia Felix or 
Eudaemon, was the great clearing-house of the 
East, just as Port Said is to-day. The author of 
the Periplus, writing of the early history of Aden, 
states this very clearly. 

1 Deipnosophistes, iv. 4-6, and v. 25, 39. And compare 
Q. Curtius, viii. 9. 2 Bunbury, Ancient Geography, II. 59. 

3 Mocha, 13 20' N. 48 20' E. The neighbouring village 
is still called Mauza. 



The Ptolemies 95 

" It was called Eudaemon/' says this writer, 
ri because, in the early days of the city, when 
the direct voyage from India to Egypt was never 
made, and no one dared to sail from Egypt 
all the way to the ports on the other side 
of the Indian Ocean, the various nations met 
here, and it received cargoes from both, just as 
Alexandria is the emporium for traffic from Egypt 
and abroad to-day 1 /' The port of Muza was 
1 ' crowded with Arab ship-masters and sailors, and 
heaped with bales of merchandise ; for these Arabs 
carry on a trade with Barygaza, sending their own 
ships there 2 ." Obviously, then, the trade between 
Alexandria and India in the days of the Ptolemies 
was mostly, if not entirely, indirect 3 , and the 
Alexandrian Greeks knew little or nothing of the 
country from which the goods originally came. The 
information collected by Eratosthenes, for instance, 
was all second-hand ; it had been acquired from 
a Syrian officer and not from Egyptian traders. 
Eratosthenes had nothing to say of the voyage 
to India or of the intermediate ports on the Red 
Sea and Arabian coasts. There were, of course, 
important exceptions to this rule. Dionysius had 
found his way to India, and centuries ago the 

1 Periplus Maris Erythraei, § 26. 2 Ibid. §21. 

3 The only evidence to the contrary consists in two 
mentions in Inscriptions (Dittenberger 186 and 190), of the 

office of ^rparqyo^ rrjs 'IvSikyJs kou 'Epv^pas OaXda-arrjq. But 

nothing is known of his duties, which may have merely been 
those of a port-officer at the mouth of the Red Sea. 



96 The Ptolemies 

voyage had been accomplished by Skylax of 
Karyanda. Strabo's statement 1 that in the days 
of the Ptolemies " very jew accomplished the voyage 
to India and brought home merchandise/ ' seems 
to imply that some did. One of these, the famous 
explorer Eudoxus, actually made the voyage twice, 
and fortunately a brief account of his adventures 2 
is preserved in a chapter of Strabo, taken, we are 
told, from the lost work of the Stoic philosopher 
Poseidonius. 

Eudoxus was a native of Cyzicus. Having 
acquired a certain reputation as a geographer and 
ethnologist, he was sent by the authorities of his 
native city to undertake the exploration of the 
Nile. While in Egypt, however, his attention was 
diverted by a romantic incident. The coast- 
guards from the Red Sea brought to Alexandria 
an Indian whom they had found drifting in a 
boat, half dead with hunger and thirst. After 
he had learnt a little Greek, the Indian explained 
that he had set out from India with a ship's 
company ; they had lost their bearings and drifted 
for months, till his companions had perished, one 
by one, of hunger ; and at last, at the point of 
death, he had been picked up off the entrance to 
the Red Sea. He offered, if the government would 
provide a ship to take him back, to shew them 
the way to India. The offer was gladly accepted 

1 Uporepov irrl rwv UToXc/xaiKwv /JatriA-ecov, oAtycov -jravTaTracri 
Bappovvrwv 7rA,€iv /cat rov 'YvhiKov ifJL7rop€V€cr6a.L <f)6pTov. Strabo, 

Geog. 11. 5. 12. 2 Ibid. 11. 3. 4. 



The Ptolemies 97 

by the monarch, Euergetes II 1 , and Eudoxus 
accompanied the expedition. They took a supply 
of goods, reached India, and after exchanging 
their wares for Indian spices and gems, sailed home. 
Instead of rewarding them, Euergetes basely con- 
fiscated their cargo ! He died, however, in 117 B.C. 
and the indomitable sailor obtained permission to 
try again, this time with a richer cargo. Again 
he reached the coast of India, but on his return 
voyage he was caught in a storm, and missing 
the entrance to the Red Sea, reached the African 
coast somewhere considerably south of Cape 
Gardafui. Here he conciliated the natives by 
presents, and received much kindness from them 
in return, for they gave him water and pilots 
for the homeward journey. He wrote down, like 
the scholar he was, several words of their language. 
But the strangest thing that happened there was 
the discovery of a ship's prow carved in the form 
of a horse. The natives declared that it belonged 
to a strange ship which came from the west 2 . 
Eudoxus took the prow back to Alexandria. Here 
he was again basely robbed 3 , on the plea that he 
had misappropriated the ship's cargo. But some 

1 146-117 B.C. 

2 This strange story of course is open to grave doubts. 
But it may be true. 

3 By Ptolemy Lathyrus, who was now reigning in place 
of his mother Cleopatra who had sent out the expedition 
(112 B.C.). Apparently the Indian treasures proved too much 
for the cupidity of the " Graeculus esuriens." 

R. I. 17 



98 The Ptolemies 

sailors declared that the prow was that of a 
Cadiz ship, and one even asserted that it was 
the actual prow of a vessel which had sailed 
away " beyond the river Lixus in Mauretania " 
and had never been heard of again. Eudoxus 
now shook the dust of Alexandria from off his 
feet, and sailed home. The information he had 
acquired presented two fascinating problems. Had 
the mysterious vessel whose prow he had found, 
really rounded Africa ? And if so, was it possible 
to reach India by following this course ? Eudoxus 
determined to try. Having realised his whole 
fortune, he fitted out a ship, with which he sailed 
to Italy, Marseilles, and Cadiz, collecting sub- 
scriptions for the great undertaking. Everywhere 
the project was hailed with enthusiasm, and 
Eudoxus was able to fit out at Cadiz a large vessel 
with two light boats for exploring the coast. 
Embarking doctors, artizans, bales of goods, 
and, strangely enough, " a supply of Spanish 
dancing girls/' the expedition " set sail for India/' 
Passing Gibraltar, they at first kept well out to 
sea ; but the sailors grew frightened, and Eudoxus, 
against his better judgment, stood in shore. 
As he had feared, the large vessel ran aground, 
and had to be dismantled, a smaller boat being 
constructed out of her timbers. They went on 
and reached an Ethiopian tribe who, he thought, 
spoke a dialect similar to that which he had 
studied in East Africa. He was now compelled, 
owing to want of provisions, to return ; but 



The Ptolemies 99 

shortly afterwards he fitted out yet another 
expedition, and this time he intended to winter 
at one of the large, uninhabited and fertile islands 
he had observed on the way, probably the Canary 
Isles or Madeira 1 , and sail on when the weather 
and wind permitted. For this purpose he took 
seeds and agricultural implements, so as to grow 
a fresh stock of provisions. Of the end of this 
brave mariner, who twice reached India and 
anticipated, in design at least, the projects of 
Vasco da Gama, we hear no more. From the 
silence which history observes with regard to 
his end, we may gather that he never reached 
home after rounding the Cape. The noteworthy 
thing about his career is the fact that he twice 
reached India and that he conceived the project 
of a voyage to that land by way of South Africa 
to be a feasible thing. 

Of the intercourse between India and the 
Egypt of the Ptolemies, traces are few, because 
the trade between the two countries was mostly 
indirect. A unique inscription on the ruins of 
a shrine between Edfu and the ancient Berenike, 
records the visit of an Indian named Sophon 2 . 

1 Like the " Fortunate Isles " to which Sertorius wanted 
to sail away, according to Plutarch's story (ch. 8, Life of 
Sertorius) . 

2 Leipsius, Denkmdler, vol. vi, p. 81. It runs as follows : 

Ilai/t EvoSa) 

KCU Y7T7JK0U) 

%6<fru>v 'IvSos 

V7T€p aVTOV. 



ioo The Ptolemies 

Dr Hultzsch speaks of finding a solitary silver 
coin of the days of Ptolemy Soter in the Bangalore 
bazaar 1 . The love-story, the progenitor of the 
modern novel, introduced to the West by Chares 
of Mitylene, may be perhaps considered an indirect 
product of Alexandrian influence, as it appears 
first in Alexandrian literature. 

APPENDIX 

THE PTOLEMIES 

Ptolemy Soter I 321 B.C. 

Philadelphia 285 „ 

Euergetes I 246 „ 

Philopator 221 „ 

Epiphanes 204 „ 

Philometor 181 „ 

Euergetes II 146 ,, 

Soter II 117 „ 

Auletes 80 „ 

Cleopatra 51-30 B.C. 

THE SELEUCIDS 

Seleukus I 312 B.C. 

Antiochus I (Soter) 281 „ 

Antiochus II (Theos) 260 „ 

Seleukus II (Kallinikus) . . 246 ,, 

Seleukus III (Soter) 227 ,, 

Antiochus III (Megas) . . . 222 „ 

Seleukus IV (Philopator) . . 187 „ 

Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) . 175 ,, 

Antiochus V (Eupator) 165 ,, 

Demetrius {Soter) 163-150 B.C. 

1 J.R.A.S. 1904, p. 403. 



CHAPTER VI 

INDIA AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE 

ov yap /xol fiios eo"Ti fxikaivanav Itt\ vrjuiv, 
ovSe fxoL ifnropir) TraTpwtos, ov& €7r! Tdyyrjv, 
lpyop.ai old tc ttoWoL... 

In the first centuries before and after Christ, 
when the Kushans were establishing themselves 
among the ruins of the Baktrian and other semi- 
Greek principalities of North- Western India, great 
changes were taking place in the West. Rome 
was absorbing the remnants of the Empire of 
Alexander. Syria had already fallen : Egypt 
became a Roman province in 30 B.C. The 
dissensions of the civil war ended at Actium, 
after which Augustus settled down to organize 
and regulate his vast possessions. The effect 
of the Pax Romana upon trade was, of course, 
very marked. Piracy was put down, trade-routes 
secured, and the fashionable world of Rome, 
undistracted by conflict, began to demand, on 
an unprecedented scale, oriental luxuries of every 
kind. Silk from China, fine muslins from India, 
and jewels, especially beryls 1 and pearls, were 

1 The beryl, fi-rjpvWo*; from Skt. vatdurya, is the much- 
prized aquamarine of the Romans. Only two beryl mines 
existed in S. India, at Padiyur and Vaniyambadi, and they 
were a great source of wealth. 



102 India and the Roman Empire 

exported from eastern ports for personal adornment. 
Drugs, spices, and condiments, as well as costus, 
lycium and other cosmetics fetched high prices. 
Even greater was the demand for pepper, which 
sold in the days of Pliny at the price of 15 denarii 
a pound 1 . This seems extraordinary to us, but 
pepper remained one of the most highly-prized 
luxuries in the West, even in the Middle Ages. 
In the fifteenth century it sold at two shillings 
a pound, — about three pounds in its modern 
equivalent ! Gibbon 2 tells us that among the 
ransom demanded by Alaric, was 3000 lb. of 
pepper. The Zamorin of Calicut correctly gauged 
European taste when he sent his famous letter 
to the King of Portugal by Vasco da Gama, 
saying that " In my land is an abundance of 
cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper and precious 
stones/' and asking for specie in exchange. Pliny, 
who is fond of indulging in trite homilies on 
Roman extravagance, is right in complaining 
of the drain upon Roman finance caused by the 
Indian trade. India produced very little coinage 
(and what she did produce was mostly imitated 
from Greek and Roman coins), and her great gold- 
mines in Dardistan appear to have been practically 
worked out, probably by the exorbitant demands 
of her Persian and other early rulers. The 
specie received from Europe was absorbed as 
it is very largely to-day. The huge hoards of 
coins found in the Madras Presidency shew what 
1 N.H. xii. 14. 2 Decline and Fall, III. 272. 



India and the Roman Empire 103 

became of the money. This is especially true 
of the first five Roman emperors, for, if we may 
judge from the Roman coins unearthed in India, 
the trade in Indian luxuries, which reached its 
height in the reign of Nero, began after this 
to decline, partly owing to civil war, but still 
more on account of the severer style of living 
encouraged by Vespasian and the Antonines 1 . 
Of the earlier emperors, 612 gold, and n 87 silver 
coins have been unearthed, exclusive of hoards 
variously described as " pots full " and " cooly 
loads/' By far the greater part of these huge 
numbers belongs to the reigns of Augustus and 
Tiberius. Pliny 2 says that India, China, and 
Arabia, absorbed between them one hundred 
million sesterces per annum. This sum is calculated 
by Mommsen 3 to represent £1,100,000, of which 
nearly half went to India. The effect of this 
enormous drain on imperial finance must have 
been terribly serious. Roman coinage was, like 
English gold, the chief medium, — almost the 
sole medium — of international commerce. Indians 
had no coinage worth speaking of, and preferred 
to import specie. This was especially true of 
the south ; the Kushan and Saka monarchs imi- 
tated or restruck Roman coins. The well-known 
story of the Roman revenue collector, shipwrecked 

1 Sewell, Roman Coins found in India (J.R.A.S. 1904, 
p. 200 ff.). 

2 N.H. xii. 18. (41). 

3 Provinces of the Roman Empire, II, 300. 



104 India and the Roman Empire 

on the Ceylon coast and convincing the Sinhalese 
monarch of the superiority of his country by 
pointing to the purity, regularity and fine work- 
manship of her coins, is told by both Pliny 1 and 
Kosmas Indikopleustes 2 . " Thus it is," says the 
latter, " that with their money the trade of the 
world is carried on." One of the fashionable 
extravagances of the time was the consumption 
of huge quantities of spices at funerals. Even 
as early as the days of Sulla, we hear of two 
hundred and ten talents' weight being used 
at his obsequies. The climax was, of course, 
reached by Nero, who at the funeral of Poppoea, 
in 66 A. d., burnt more aromatics on her pyre than 
Arabia produced in a year 3 . Extravagance of this 
kind immensely stimulated the Indian trade, while 
it brought vast wealth to the inhabitants of Arabia 
Felix, and the cinnamon country ( e H Y^ivva^uvd- 
fyopoi) of the adjoining Somali coast. 

One of the results of the increased intercourse 
with India was the appearance of several works 
bearing more or less directly upon the subject 
of Indian geography. Of these writers, the earliest 
is Strabo, an Asiatic Greek who lived in the 
reign of Augustus. A great traveller, Strabo 
had visited Armenia, and had accompanied his 
friend Aelius Gallus up the Nile. He had been 
to the port of Myos Hormos, and observed the 
great increase of trade with India ; for he found 

1 N.H. VI. 22. 

2 Christian Topography, Bk. xi. 3 Ibid. vn. 42. 



India and the Roman Empire 105 

that about one hundred and twenty merchantmen 
sailed to India (he does not say in what space 
of time, but perhaps he means in a single season), 
whereas scarcely anyone dared to make the 
direct voyage in the days of the Ptolemies 1 . 
In his own days a few bold sailors even made 
the mouth of the Ganges. But they were ignorant 
men, ill-qualified to describe what they had seen. 
Hence Strabo is driven to rely for his information 
about India upon previous writers 2 . His leading 
authority is Eratosthenes, the Alexandrian. He 
draws also largely upon Megasthenes (whom he 
unfairly censures), and on Aristobulus, Onesikritus, 
Nearchus, and other writers who took part in 
Alexander's campaign. Hence the India he des- 
cribes is the India, not of his own day, but of 
the third and fourth centuries B.C. ; and valuable 
and exhaustive though the fifteenth book of 
the Geography is, it throws little light upon India 
at the time of Augustus. Even with regard 
to the accounts of eye-witnesses, he says, there 
are many discrepancies, and most of the people 
who write about India do so from hearsay, having 
visited only isolated portions of the country. 
The same remarks apply to the Indika of Arrian, 
written about 150 B.C. A work of quite a different 
kind is the encyclopaedic Natural History of 
Pliny the Elder, completed in the year 77 a.d. 
two years before his death in the great eruption 
at Pompeii. The sixth book of this work contains 
1 Strabo, Geog. 11. 5. 12. 2 Ibid. xv. 2. 



106 India and the Roman Empire 

a valuable description of Ceylon, drawn from 
the accounts of the official already mentioned 
(a freedman of Annius Plocamus) wrecked there 
in the reign of the Emperor Claudius. It also con- 
tains, besides dissertations on the geography of India 
drawn from various sources, a most interesting 
account of the voyage from Myos Hormos to 
the Indian coast, as made at the time. Other 
books contain exhaustive catalogues of Indian 
animals and minerals, and, above all, an invaluable 
list of Indian plants and drugs, of the greatest 
use in studying Indian exports of that nature. 

About the time of Pliny's great work 1 , an 
anonymous pamphlet entitled Periplus Maris 
Erythraei was published, probably at Alexandria. 
This little book is unique in the history of Greek 
geography, in so far as the writer describes the 
coasts of the Red Sea, Arabia, and Western 
India from his own experience and not at second- 
hand, as the other extant authorities do. This 
important work will receive detailed attention 
later. The last of the great geographers to write 
about India, if we except minor authorities 
and incidental references, is Ptolemy, who lived 
about 150 a.d. Unfortunately Ptolemy's Guide 
to Geography is mathematical rather than des- 
criptive. His object is not to describe places, 
but to determine their latitude and longitude 

1 There are amazing discrepancies of opinion about the 
date of the Periplus. It is fairly certain, however, that 
it was written between 80 and 90 a.d. and nearer 80 than 90. 



India and the Roman Empire 107 

on the map, and his notices are occasional and 
brief. Later geographers (with the honourable 
exception of Kosmas Indikopleustes, one of the 
last writers of the fast-expiring ancient world), 
confine themselves to incidental statements about 
India, generally copied from Pliny, Strabo, and 
Ptolemy. The romances of Aelian and Philo- 
stratus are unworthy of serious notice. 

The news of the accession of Augustus quickly 
reached India. Many Indian states sent embassies 
to congratulate him, an honour, as he remarks, 
never paid before to any Western prince 1 . The 
most striking of these was one sent by an important 
king, called, according to Strabo, Porus by some 
and Pandion by others 2 . If his name really 
was Pandion, he was one of the Pandya kings 
of Madura, the most southerly of the three Tamil 
kingdoms. Porus, however (Paurava, a descendant 
of Puru) became a kind of generic name for an 
Indian king with the Greeks since the days of 
Alexander. It is tempting to identify this Porus 
with Kadphises the first, if it is possible to put 
the first of the Kushan monarchs so early 3 . 
The embassy sailed from Barygaza ; it brought 
in its train a Buddhist monk, Zarmanochegas 

1 Mon. Ancyranum, 36. 

2 Strabo, Geog. xv. 4 & 73 ; Dion Cassius, liv. 9. 58 ; 
Priaulx, Indian Travel, p. 64, and Indian Embassies to Rome 
(J.R.A.S. xix. 294). 

3 Vincent Smith gives 45 a.d. as his date, but other 
authorities put him seventy years earlier. 



108 India and the Roman Empire 

(Sramandchdrya), who imitated the notorious 
Kalanos by burning himself on a pyre at Athens, 
and a letter written in Greek, describing Porus 
as " lord over six hundred kings." All this answers 
to the Kushan rather than the Tamil monarch. 
In the Panjab, Greek was talked, and Buddhism 
was the prevailing religion, which was scarcely 
the case in the south. Barygaza would hardly 
be the port for a Tamil embassy, with Nelkynda 
and Muziris at hand. Kadphises had extended 
his dominions over many " Yavana, Saka, and 
Pallava " monarchs, and could appropriately 
call himself " Maharaja over 600 kings." Kad- 
phises was familiar with Rome, as is shewn by 
his imitation of the coins of Augustus. The 
invitation to Augustus to form an alliance with 
him, and the offer of a free passage through his 
domains to Roman citizens, may refer to the 
overland route through Baktria to China and 
India. Many curious details about this embassy 
have been preserved by an eye-witness, Nicolaus 
of Damascus, who met the party near Antioch. 
They had started from India about 25 B.C. and 
had taken four years on the journey. They 
had suffered much on the road and many had 
died of fatigue. The length of the journey must 
have been due to the cumbrous nature of the 
presents they brought, which included tigers, 
a partridge as big as an eagle 1 , a gigantic python, 

1 This is the katreus of Kleitarchus, the monal pheasant 
from the Himalayas. 



India and the Roman Empire 109 

huge tortoises, and an armless boy who could 
shoot arrows and throw darts with his feet ! 
With these ponderous gifts they had been forced 
to take the overland route, and had evidently 
experienced great difficulties in convoying them 
over the passes and through the deserts. Had 
they gone by sea, the journey would have been 
over in less than a year. This strange troupe 
found Augustus in Samos in 21 B.C. The tigers 
were shewn at the opening of the theatre of 
Marcellus. Other Indian embassies visited Rome 
from time to time. We have already referred to one 
from Ceylon to the Emperor Claudius. Another 
came to Trajan in 99 a.d. from Kadphises II or 
Kanishka 1 , when the conquest of Mesopotamia 
had brought the Indian and Roman frontiers 
within six hundred miles of one another. 

In the reign of Claudius, an epoch-making 
discovery changed the whole aspect of the sea- 
borne trade between India and Rome. This 
was the discovery, about 45 a.d. of the existence 
of the monsoon-winds, blowing regularly across 
the Indian Ocean, by a captain of the name 
of Hippalus. The existence of such regular 
" Etesian " winds had been vaguely known before, 
and Megasthenes and others had observed that 
the regular double rainfall of India was due to 
them. To the Arab sailors, too, the phenomenon 

1 I say this with all reservation. Fleet dates Kanishka at 
58 B.C. 



no India and the Roman Empire 

was no secret, as the term monsoon, from the 
Arabic mauzim, implies. Hitherto, however, such 
few Greek vessels as dared to make the voyage 
from the Red Sea to India had been forced to 
creep along the Arabian shore and then down 
the coast of Karmania — an infinitely tedious 
proceeding. To be becalmed, without compass 
or map, in the middle of the Indian Ocean was 
too great a risk to run. Hippalus, however, 
observing the steady south-west current of the 
summer months, and learning the secret, perhaps, 
from an Arab seaman, ventured upon the direct 
voyage. At first Hippalus merely made the run 
from Cape Syagrus to Patala, a distance of 1335 
miles, for which he would have the wind directly 
behind him the whole way. This was subsequently 
improved upon. It was found that by sailing 
closer to the wind (the author of the Periplus 
uses the term rpaxq^ovT^, " throwing the 
ship's head off the wind," evidently a slang word 
among Alexandrian sailors), it was possible to 
make Sigerus or Melizigara on the Bombay coast. 
Later merchants made the voyage shorter still. 
Striking due east from the port of Cana or from 
Cape Gardafui, it was found possible to make 
straight for Damirike, or Malabar, the important 
pepper-country. For particulars of the voyage 
we are chiefly indebted to Pliny 1 . After des- 
cribing the discovery of Hippalus, and the journey 

1 N.H. vi. 26 ; also Periplus, § 56. 



India and the Roman Empire 1 1 1 

from Koptos to the sea, he tells that passengers 
for India usually embarked (at Berenike or Myos 
Hormos) about midsummer. The voyage to Okelis, 
at the mouth of the Red Sea, the favourite port 
for travellers to India, took just a month. Then, 
if the Hippalus (the name given to the south- 
west monsoon, after its discoverer) were blowing, 
they reached Muziris (Cranganore on the Malabar 
coast), in forty days. No doubt the time was 
often bettered in practice, as the distance was 
only about 2000 miles and a Greek vessel with 
a good wind could do eighty miles a day 1 . In 
any case, Alexandria was now brought within 
a little over two months of the Indian coast. 
When we remember the thirty months taken 
by the pioneer of Greek voyages from India to 
Suez, Skylax of Karyanda, we begin to appreciate 
the improvements effected in navigation by the 
first century a.d. Pliny tells us that passengers 
preferred to embark at Barake 2 in the Pandya 
country, rather than at Muziris, on account of 
the pirates who infested the latter port. To 
keep off these pirates, East Indiamen had to 
carry troops of archers. This coast has always 

1 For figures, see Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, 
p. 167 (Shanghai, 1885). Hirth, however, forgets that the 
revenue-ship belonging to Annius Plocamus, caught in the 
monsoon off the Arabian coast was blown to the Ceylon 
coast in fifteen days ! This, I think, constituted a record 
for the ancient world. Pliny, N.H. VI. 22. 

2 On the outer edge of the great Cochin lagoon. Inside 
this lagoon was the great port of Nelkynda. Vide infra. 



1 1 2 India and the Roman Empire 

been pirate-haunted, to the days of Angria and 
his Marathas, who gave the English so much 
trouble. Ptolemy speaks of it as Ariake of the 
pirates 1 . Barake was the port for the pepper 
trade, Kottonara (Kolatta-nadu, i.e. Tellicherry), 
the centre of the pepper-district. Those returning 
to Europe had to sail in December, if they wished 
to take advantage of the north-east monsoon 2 . 
They could then take advantage of the south 
and south-west wind in the Red Sea. 

We may now turn to the detailed account 
given in the Periplus of the coasting voyage to 
India, as far as the writer's personal experience 
went. Coming down the Red Sea, the first 
port trading direct with India was Muza, the 
modern Mocha, which sent its ships straight 
to Barygaza. Evidently these Arabs were rivals 
of the Greeks, and preferred to use their own 
vessels. We then come to Okelis, a roadstead 
with good water and anchorage. Aden (Arabia 
Felix) the great emporium (which, in the time 
of the Ptolemies, when the direct voyage to India 
was not made, had been almost as busy a port 
of exchange as Alexandria), had lately been sacked 
by its trade-rivals, and was now in ruins. The 
writer attributes its overthrow to " Caesar/' 
but as Roman arms never penetrated to Aden, 
it is supposed that we have here a misreading 

1 'AvBpwv HtipaTujv. But this has been explained as 
Andhrabhritya {Bombay Gazetteer, Thana, II. 415, note). 

2 Pliny says Volturnus, but this must be a slip. 



India and the Roman Empire 113 

for Eleazar 1 (King of the Frankincense Country) 
or Charibael 2 . 

Outside the straits, the first port is Kane, 
where ships took in water and provisions for 
their long run. From here the course differed. 
Vessels for South India struck straight out to 
sea, past Sokotra or Dioscorida (Sukhddhara-dvipa, 
the Isle of the Blest 3 ) ; the rest sailed up the coast 
of the frankincense country, dark and lowering, 
with clouds hanging low over the hills. It was 
desperately unhealthy, and the frankincense was 
mostly collected by convicts. But its wealth 
was prodigious. Presently Cape Syagrus (Ras 
Fartak) hove in sight, with its headland and 
fort, and then came the roadstead of Moscha, 
a port of call for India and a port for the frankin- 
cense trade. After this there were no important 
ports till the traveller came to the Persian 
Gulf, on which was the port of Ommana. At 
the mouth of the Euphrates was Apologus, 
an important harbour, of which, however, our 
author merely remarks that it imported timber 
from Barygaza — sandalwood, teak, ebony, and 

1 Eleazer, Hi azzu, king of the AifiavuiTo^opoi, 20-65 a.d. 
Vincent thinks that a Roman expedition from Egypt, or 
Annius Plocamus on his way to Ceylon in the reign of 
Claudius (Pliny, N.H. vi 24) sacked Aden. But the Periplus 
always reads AvroKparup, never Kalaap, for the Roman Emperor 
( e -g- § 23). Hence the reading must be corrupt. 

2 Charibael, Kariba-H, Blessed by God, king of the 
Homerites and Sabaites, 40-70 a.d. 

8 Hence Agatharchides, § 103, translates it as vrjo-oi ev$aip.ov€s. 
R. 1. 8 



H4 India and the Roman Empire 

blackwood. The importation of Indian wood was 
as old as the days of Sennacherib, and it is found 
in ancient Chaldean and Assyrian temples. 

We now come to the most interesting part 
of the narrative — our author's notes on the 
Indian ports which he visited. The first of these 
is the harbour called by the Greeks Barbarikon, 
whatever the Indian name may have been 1 . 
It was on the middle mouth of the Indus, and 
the cargoes were disembarked here and sent 
in boats to Minnagara, the capital of Sind. This 
was probably Patala. It was called Min-nagara 
(City of the Min or Saka), as Sind was then in the 
possession of " Parthian Princes who were always 
driving one another out." These were, no doubt, 
the Indo-Parthians, who had been turned out 
of the Pan jab by the Kushans. When our 
author found them, the dynasty had evidently 
already relapsed into anarchy. The writer cor- 
rectly notes that the natives called the Indus 
Sinthus (Sindhu) 2 . The exports of Sind (which 
had not yet been eclipsed by the southern ports), 
were costus (Skt. kushtha, Saussurea lappa) an 
aromatic plant from Kashmir used for perfumes ; 
lycium or berberry, a cosmetic fashionable in 
Rome ; nard (citronella), gems, indigo, skins, 
and lastly silk from China. Silk was destined 

1 The Greeks always corrupted an Indian word to its 
nearest Greek equivalent. Perhaps in this case it was some- 
thing like Bahardipur (SchofT, ad loc.) ; see p. 119, note. 

2 §40. 



India and the Roman Empire 115 

to become an immensely important article of 
commerce. The expeditions of the Baktrian mon- 
archs, Demetrius and Menander 1 , and of the 
Kushan kings, had opened out the great trade 
route which runs from Balkh to the historic 
"Stone Tower " of Sarikol. Some of the silk 
also found its way through Nepal to the Ganges 
and thence to the Malabar coast 2 . Later on, 
it was taken straight from China to Rome, by 
the land-route from Sarikol to Balkh, Hekatom- 
pylus, Ekbatana, Ktesiphon, Hira, and Charax, 
and then by sea to Petra, Tyre, and the Levant 3 . 
Ptolemy tells us of the Macedonian merchant 
named Maes or Titianus, whose caravans went 
through the wild Bolor mountains to the Stone 
Tower, a frontier fort on a desolate crag. Here 
the Chinese, whose capital was " a seven months' 
journey away," met them with the silk 4 . Silk 
was the rage in Rome, and this extravagant 
habit is the occasion of one of Pliny's homilies 5 . 
For a long time the origin of silk was a mystery 
to the Romans. The yarn was woven at places 
like Cos. It was popularly supposed to grow 
on trees, a belief which perhaps arose from travel- 
lers' tales of the cocoons of the silkworms being 

1 Strabo, XI. II. I. 2 Periplus, § 64. 

3 Hirth, China and the Roman Orient (Shanghai, 1885), 
passim. 

4 Geog. 1. 12. 8. The road went through the land of the 
Kasii. Is this Kashgar ? 

5 N.H. xxi. 8. 

8—2 



n6 India and the Roman Empire 

attached to the mulberry leaves on which they 
feed. Hence Vergil's 

Velleraque ut foliis depectant tenvia Seres 1 . 

Aristotle, however, knew a great deal more than 
this about the matter, though his account was 
evidently disbelieved 2 . The Chinese jealously 
guarded their secret till the days of Justinian, 
when two adventurous monks smuggled silk- 
worms' eggs to Constantinople in a hollow cane. 

Passing the treacherous Ran of Kacch, our 
traveller next put in at the ancient harbour 
of Barygaza (perhaps Bhrighu-Kaccha), the most 
famous of the Indian ports trading with the West, 
until it was eclipsed, after 47 a.d., by its southern 
rivals. It is the modern Broach. It lay on 
the river Narmada, and was difficult of access 
on account of shoals, and the extraordinary ebb 
^,nd flow of the tide. At one moment the tide 
would flow right out, leaving vessels stranded ; 
at the next, it returned with a roar " like an 
advancing army," and woe to the luckless vessel 
caught unprepared 3 . These intimate touches make 
us feel that the Periplus is a narrative of actual 
experiences. At Broach the writer found the 
coins of Menander and Apollodotus still in circula- 
tion. Specie was also imported, native Indian 
coinage being, as usual, scarce and bad. Our 
author was no scholar, and he gravely accepted 
the story that the remains of great shrines, forts, 

1 Georg. II. 121. 2 Hist. An. V. 19. 11. 3 § 45. 



India and the Roman Empire 1 1 7 

and wells in the Broach district were relics of 
Alexander's invasion. He also says that Alexander 
" penetrated to the Ganges 1 /' The fertile coast- 
country between Broach and the Indus, the 
writer calls Syrastrene, obviously Surdshtra, the 
name still surviving in Surat. The trade, export 
and import, of the district, was immense 2 . The 
exports included the various Indian condiments 
and spices, muslins, and stones : the imports, 
specie, unguents, singing boys, and " choice girls 
for the Royal harem." These, doubtless, were 
the Yavanis of the king's bodyguard, already 
referred to. The capital of the district was 
a second " Minnagara," or Saka city, probably 
Madhyamika, but which of the numerous Saka 
dynasties was reigning there at the time, it is 
impossible to say. The old capital had been 
the historic city of Ozene or Ujjain, the chief 
town of Malwa, and the seat of the Viceroy of 
Western India in the days of the Mauryas. It was 
now temporarily abandoned. A few years later, it 
became again the capital under the Saka satrap 
Chastana, the Tiastanes of Ptolemy. Ships from 
the Red Sea began to arrive about July, as soon 
as the south-west monsoon had set in, and they 
were met by Government pilot-boats, and moored 
in regular basins, where the bore of the Narmada 
was least dangerous. In this statement we have 

1 Is the true reading Menander for Alexander in these 
two passages ? 

2 A detailed list is given in §§ 48-50. 



n8 India and the Roman Empire 

a further piece of evidence of the advanced state 
of Indian shipping 1 . The monarch reigning in 
Gujarat (Ariake) was Matnbarus, who may be 
Nahapana 2 , the Kshaharata chieftain who suc- 
ceeded Bhiimaka 3 . Nahapana was afterwards con- 
quered by the Andhra monarch Vilivayakura II 4 . 
His head-quarters may have been at Nasik, 
close to which town a large hoard of his coins 
has recently come to light. They bear an inscrip- 
tion in barbarous Greek characters, and a head 
obviously imitated from Baktrian or Roman 
types. Evidently Nahapana's trade brought him 
in considerable wealth, and brought him into 
contact with Graeco-Roman influence. 

Our traveller now 5 goes on to describe the 
Deccan, the seat of the great Andhra kingdom. 
Deccan (Dakkhindbada*) he correctly derives from 
809^09, south. Beyond the Ghauts, the land 
is wild and desolate, full of tigers, apes, and 
huge pythons 7 . The principal ports were Ter 

1 Regulations for harbour-masters and pilots are laid 
down in the Kautiliya Artha Sdstra. See App. to Ch. in. 

2 Wilson in J.R.A.S. Bengal, June, 1904. 

3 Rapson in J.R.A.S. 1904, p. 371. 

4 V. Smith dates this at 126 a.d. but this is inconsistent 
with the accepted date of the Periplus. 

5 §52. 

6 Skt. DaksMndpatha. Aa^im/SaS^s KaXelrai rf xw'pa* Sa^avo? 

yap KaAetTai 6 voros Trj avrwv yXioa-arj. Here we have another 
personal touch. 

7 This agrees with what Hiuen Tsiang and other travellers 
tell us, and was still true of the Deccan till quite recent times. 



India and the Roman Empire 119 

(Tagara), Sopara, Paithan and Kalyan, these 
being supplied with goods from the central part 
of India by the great high road running through 
Daulatabad to Hyderabad. Kalyan and Sopara, 
the chief harbours in the days of " the elder 
Saraganus " (probably Arishta Satakarni), had, 
since the accession of the weak king Sandanes 
{Sunday a Satakarni), been blockaded by the men- 
of-war from the rival port of Broach, who towed 
vessels off to their own harbour and made them 
unload there ! Here we have another interesting 
side-light on contemporary Indian history. 

The remaining ports of the Deccan were : 

(i) Mandagora, probably Bankot. 

(ii) Palaipatmai, probably Dhabol or Paripatana. 
(hi) Melizigara, probably Jaigad. 
(iv) Byzantium, probably Vizadrog 1 . 

(v) Togarum, probably Devgad. 
(vi) Auranoboas or Tyrannoboas, probably Aran- 
yavaha or Mai van. 

Also the following islands : 

(i) Sesikrienae, probably Vengurla. 
(ii) Aegidii, probably Angidiva or Goa. 
(iii) Kaenitae, probably Karwad. 

1 This was not a Byzantine colony ! The Greeks always 
transliterated a Hindu name so as to be as like as possible 
to some well-known Greek word. We do the same, e.g. 
Hobson-Jobson and many other ludicrous instances. The 
Apollo Bunder at Bombay is the Pdlvd Bandar, for instance. 



120 India and the Roman Empire 

After this, the traveller arrived at the Tamil 
country, Damirike 1 . The chief ports mentioned 
are Muziris, in the country of Kerobothra or 
Keralaputra, the Western Tamil kingdom, and 
Nelkynda, in the kingdom of Pandya (Pandion) 
or Madura. Muziris, as we have already seen, 
was shunned by travellers on account of bad 
anchorage and the pirates. It is almost certainly 
Muyiri-kotta, the modern Cranganore 2 . Nelkynda 
(Nil-kantha, perhaps) was somewhere in the 
Cochin backwaters. At the mouth of the back- 
waters stood Barake, the port mentioned by 
Pliny. Nelkynda became about this time the 
most important of the Indian ports. This was 
partly due to the blockade of the Northern Deccan 
coast by the ships of Broach. The chief reason, 
however, is to be sought in the pepper-trade, 
for which, after the epoch-making discovery of 
Hippalus, it became the chief port. After this, 
it completely eclipsed even Broach 3 . The exports 
of Nelkynda were most multifarious. Pepper 
and other condiments, drugs like spikenard and 
malobathrum, jewels like beryls, pearls, diamonds 
and sapphires, ivory and silk from Bengal, and 
tortoise-shell from the Golden Chersonese, were 
the chief. As we have already noticed, the 

1 This is surely the correct reading. MSS. Limirike, 
which is meaningless. 

2 Not Mangalore, as formerly held. 

3 It is mentioned by Pliny, Ptolemy, the author of the 
Geography of Ravenna, and in the Peutinger Tables. 



India and the Roman Empire 121 

enormous extent of the trade with Southern 
India in the first century a.d. is evidenced 
by the great numbers of Roman coins found 
there. There seems little doubt that eventually 
regular colonies of Roman traders sprang up 
in the Madras Presidency. The Peutinger Tables 
represent a temple of Augustus at Muziris. There 
was a " Yavana " colony at the mouth of the 
Kaviri river. Ptolemy tells of meeting people 
who had resided in the Madura district " for 
a long time 1 ," and the great numbers of copper 
coins of little value found there point in the same 
direction. Roman soldiers, like the Vikings and 
the Swiss in later days, enlisted in the service 
of foreign kings, and " dumb Mlecchas," or " power- 
ful Yavanas " in complete armour attending 
native princes are often mentioned in Tamil 
literature 2 . Further than Nelkynda, our traveller 
evidently did not go. Like the great majority 
of Indian merchants of his time, he made the 
coasting voyage up the Arabian shores, to the 
head of the Persian Gulf, along the Mekran 
to the mouth of the Indus, and then down the 
Indian coast to Cochin. His account is a remini- 
. scence of personal experiences on this run. At 

1 ivrevOcv do-TrkevcrdvTwv kcu XP° V0V frXiLO-Tov iTreXOovrwv. 

Geog. Prol. I. 17. 

2 Mukerji, Indian Shipping, p. 128 ff. collects the evidence 
for this. See also Sewell, Roman Coins found in India (J.R.A S. 
1904, p. 391). Pillay, The Tamils eighteen hundred years 
ago, Ch. in ; Vincent Smith, Early History of India (1907), 
p. 400. 



122 India and the Roman Empire 

Nelkynda, no doubt, he discharged his cargoes, 
loaded his holds with pepper, cinnamon, silks, 
muslins, and perhaps with a box or two of pearls, 
sapphires, and tortoise-shell, and waiting for 
the north-east winds of December, spread his 
sails for the long voyage back to the mouth of 
the Red Sea. But before he left Nelkynda, 
he gathered, no doubt from other sea-captains 
at anchor within the backwaters, many valuable 
facts about the east coast of India as far as the 
mouth of the Ganges, and these he has briefly 
recorded. Proceeding on his voyage, the traveller 
comes to cape Kumari, where dwells a goddess 
(Kumari or Devi), and where, we are told, is 
a shrine and monastery, where men and women 
dedicate themselves to a life of chastity in her 
honour, and perform ablutions. This is still true 
of the pilgrims who visit this holy spot. After 
this comes the Coast Land, the Chola Mandalam 
or Chola-coast, the modern Coromandel. Its ports 
were Kamara, the Khaberis emporium of Ptolemy, 
at the mouth of the Kaveri ; Poduca, i.e. Pudu- 
cheri or Pondicherry ; and Soptama — Su-patana, 
the " fair city " of Madras. Here there was a 
flourishing trade in pearls and muslins, and ships 
from Bengal frequently put in. Travellers, were 
struck by the sangara 1 , or catamarans, large 
vessels made of logs, and the sea-going kolandia. 
To the Coromandel coast, says our author, went 
a very large proportion of the exports from Rome. 
1 Caldwell says this is the Malayalam jangdla. 



India and the Roman Empire 123 

Of the neighbouring island of Ceylon he knows 
very little, but like all the writers of his time, 
he thinks it a vast island projecting far into the 
ocean. Then comes Masalia, the Masulipatam 
district, with a great trade in muslins, and Dosarene, 
the Darsana or holy land of Orissa, with its 
trade in ivory. After this, our writer becomes 
very vague. Further on lies the Ganges, with 
a port at its mouth (probably Tamralipti) whence 
come the Benares muslins, Chinese silk, and 
malobathrum. A most interesting description of 
the Mongolian hillmen who collect the malobathrum 
on the Chinese border concludes the Periplus. 
"Every year, on the borders of This (China), 
assembles a tribe of men with stunted bodies and 
broad, flat faces. They are timid and peaceful, and 
almost wild. They are called Besatae (vishdda, 
dullness, stupidity x ) . They come with their families 
bearing baskets of what appear to be thin grape- 
leaves. They meet in a place halfway between 
their own land and China, and hold a fair, spreading 
out the baskets and using them as mats. After 
this they return to their own land. Then the 
natives who are on the watch take these mats 
and pick out the leaves, which they call ' petri ' 
(ftatra, leaves). They then press them into layers 
and fasten them with fibres taken from the mats. 
These they make into balls of three sizes whence 
come the three grades of malobathrum to be had 

1 So Lassen, Ind. Alt. m. 8, but Lassen's imaginary 
adjective vaishada, dull, does not exist. See p. 147. 



124 India and the Roman Empire 

in India." Here we have a description of the 
" silent barter " carried on by many shy, wild 
tribes all over the world, and still practised 
by the Veddas of Ceylon. The goods to be 
bought are left in a clearing, and the purchaser 
takes them, replacing them by their equivalent 
in value. Pliny says Sinhalese merchants went 
to this mart 1 , and Kosmas Indikopleustes saw 
a similar system employed in Ethiopia. 

APPENDIX 

SOME NOTES ON INDIAN DRUGS AND PERFUMES 

Indian drugs and perfumes were known indirectly in 
Europe at a very early date. The first extensive account of 
them is given in Theophrastus' History of Plants. But 
Pliny's account is much fuller, and there are many valuable 
remarks on this important trade in the Periplus. The 
following notes deal with some of the principal plants. 

Costus. Skt. kushtha, modern kut-lakdl, called also uplet 
in Karachi, and puchuk in the Far East. It is the root of 
the Saussurea lappa (hence the Roman name Radix), and 
grows in the Himalayas. It was exported from Barygaza 
and Barbarikon, and fetched five denarii a pound in Rome, 
where it was used for making perfumes and for cooking. It is 
still exported from Kashmir (where it is a state monopoly), 
via Karachi and Bombay, to China and Japan, where it is 
apparently used as incense. About 2000 cwt., valued at 
about Rs 40,000, are exported annually. Hamilton (New 

1 N.H. vi. 22, 24. Kennedy denies this and reads Cher as 
for Seres, J.R.A.S. 1904, p. 359. Other references to the 
silent trade are Herod, iv. 196 (Libya) ; Ammianus Mar- 
cellinus, xxm. 6. 68 (Seres); Pomponius Mela, in. 8. 60 
(Himalayan tribes)* 



India and the Roman Empire 125 

Account, I. 128), writing about 1720, says, "There are great 
quantities exported from Surat and thence to China, where 
it bears a good price. For being all idolaters and burning 
incense before their images, this root beaten into fine powder 
. . . will burn a long time like a match, sending forth a fine 
smoke whose smell is very grateful." 

Lycium. Exported from Barygaza and Barbarikon, was the 
bark and fruit of several species of Himalayan berberry, 
used for preparing an astringent medicine, and for a cosmetic 
(Pliny, xxiv. 72). 

Malabathrum, Cassia. Both these were the products of 
the cinnamon tree, a kind of laurel, several varieties of which 
were used in ancient trade. The true home of the cinnamon 
plant was, of course, the cinnamon country of the Somali 
coast, and the adjacent parts of Arabia Felix. Pure cinnamon 
fetched 1500 denarii per pound. This was the stems and bark 
of the tree, and was used for making unguents, for incense, 
and for a condiment. Malabathrum, on the other hand, 
consisted of the leaves of a cinnamon plant (perhaps C. tamala), 
used for the manufacture of a famous unguent, known chiefly 
from the reference in Horace (11. 7. 89), and came from the 
Himalayas. 

Curiously enough, Ceylon cinnamon, so famous in Dutch 
days, was not known to the ancients. It is impossible, in 
this limited space to give details of the cinnamon trade, 
which has continued from Egyptian and Jewish times down 
to the present day. 

Frankincense. True frankincense, the product of five 
species of the genus Boswellia, comes from the Hadhramaut 
country, and is imported to India and China, the port of 
export being Dafar (sometimes supposed to be the Sapphara 
Metropolis of Ptolemy). Its Arabian origin is indicated by 
its name olibanum (al-luban). There are, however, several 
gums used in India instead of incense. Among these, bdellium 
(Pliny, xii. 19) was one of the commonest. It is a gum re- 
sembling myrrh, and the product of several species of the 
Balsamodendron. It grows chiefly on the slopes of the Hindu 



126 India and the Roman Empire 

Kush, and was exported from Barbarikon and Barygaza. It was 
worth three denarii a pound. Storax, or Benzoin, the gum of 
trees of the genus Styracaceae, is the modern Indian ud or in- 
cense. It was apparently not common in India, being one of 
the imports mentioned in the Periplus. Myrrh was the gum 
of another tree of the genus Balsamodendron. Its Sanskrit 
name is vola, whence the modern Indian bol. Pliny, xn. 35, 
gives a long account of the collection of the gum (stacte). The 
best sort fetched 40 denarii per pound. Some of the Acacias 
produce fragrant gums, used for the adulteration of incense, 
and employed for similar purposes. 

Spikenard. This was the stem and leaves of the Nardo- 
stachys Jatamansi, a plant of the Valerian class found in the 
Himalayas. It was used for making the famous "ointment 
of spikenard" which is chiefly known to English readers 
from the episode in St Mark xiv. 3. It fetched from 40 to 
75 denarii a pound. It was exported from Barygaza, from 
the Malabar coast (whence it arrived from the mouth of the 
Ganges), and from Bengal. It must not be confused with 
nard, which was apparently an essential oil extracted from 
the citronella or ginger-grass, found in Baluchistan and 
exported from Barbarikon. See Pliny, xu. 26 ff. 

(For further details, see Watt's Commercial Products of 
India, articles under the various headings in the Encyclopedia 
Britannica, the numerous scattered notes of great value in 
Yule's Marco Polo (3rd edition, Murray, 1903), and in the 
Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency. See also Sir George 
Birdwood's articles in the Transactions of the Linnaean Society, 
vols, xxvii-xxvui, and Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, 
June 1914, Gustav Oppert's Trade with Ancient India, Madras, 
1879, and U. C. Dutt's Materia Medica of the Hindus, revised 
by K. A. Sen, Calcutta 1901.) 



CHAPTER VII 

INDIA AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE (CONTINUED) 

Trade between India and Rome continued 
to thrive steadily during the second and third 
centuries a.d. There was a temporary lull in 
the demand for luxuries after the extraordinary 
outburst of extravagance which culminated in 
the reign of Nero, but this did not have a very 
serious effect upon commerce. Roman Emperors 
took an increasing interest in Eastern questions, 
and, as we may see from the writers of the time, 
the bounds of geographical knowledge were slowly 
but surely extended. Trajan 1 during his Parthian 
expedition, travelled to the mouth of the Euphrates 
and watched the ships spreading their sails for 
India. He is said to have dreamed of making 
an expedition to the country himself. He pushed 
the Roman frontier to within six hundred miles 
of Indian territory. He entertained an Indian 
embassy regally, giving its members senators' 
seats at the theatre 2 . In the reign of Marcus 

1 Dion Cassius, lxvii. 28. 

2 Ibid. ix. 58. 



128 India and the Roman Empire 

Aurelius, Avidius Cassius fought another successful 
campaign against Parthia and took the winter 
capital of Ktesiphon. 

In spite of temporary set-backs caused by these 
wars, the land-borne trade between Europe and the 
East flourished exceedingly. We have already men- 
tioned that it consisted chiefly of Chinese silk, but 
Indian goods found their way, wholly or partly, by 
these routes to Europe in considerable quantities as 
well x . Great cities sprang up, created by this traffic . 
One of the chief roads — the one which ran from 
the Parthian capital at Hekatompylus — passed 
through Ekbatana and Ktesiphon. At Ktesiphon 
it branched off in several directions, the main 
track running through Mesopotamia, crossing the 
Tigris by the famous flying bridge between Zeugma 
and Apamea, and ending at the port of Antioch 2 . 
Another important branch of the road ran to 
Palmyra, and then to Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, 
and Sidon, and joined the network of highways 
which converged at Petra 3 . The great city of 

1 The chief passages referring to the overland route 
are : Pliny, N.H. vi. 17 ; Strabo, xi. 7. 3 ; ibid. xn. 2. 17 ; 
ibid. xiv. 2. 29 ; ibid. xvi. 2. 3 and the Sra^ol UapOtKoC of 
Isidore of Char ax. 

2 Zeugma transitu Euphratis nobile. Ex adverso Apa- 
meam Seleukus, idem utriusque conditor, ponte iunxerat. 
Pliny, N.H. v. 24. See also Bunbury, Hist. Anc. Geog. 
§§ 17-20. 

3 Hue convenit utrumque bivium, eorum qui Syria 
Palmy ram petiere et eorum qui a Gaza venerunt. Pliny, 
N.H. vi. 28. 144. 



India and the Roman Empire 129 

Petra played a very large part in Eastern trade, 
more, however, Arabic than Indian. Most of 
the Indian goods which came up the Red Sea 
naturally found their way to Alexandria, but 
some were unshipped at Leuke Kome for Petra 1 . 
These no doubt included silks and other stuffs 
which went to Tyre to be re-dyed. Gaza and 
Rhinokolura (the latter originally an Ethiopian 
convict settlement), were both convenient ports 
from Petra for the Mediterranean. Petra was 
a lovely spot, built in an oasis, with springs 
and gardens, and a large cosmopolitan population. 
It was visited by Strabo's friend Athenodorus, 
and its noble ruins are still an object of admiration. 
It owed its great prosperity to the caravans 
from the mouth of the Euphrates, and from the 
spice, incense, and gold lands of Arabia Felix 
which converged in its bazaars. It was reduced, 
however, by Trajan in 105 a.d. for helping the 
Parthians, when Palmyra took its place as the 
great entrepot of the Oriental land-trade, till she, 
too, fell before the Roman arms in 273 a.d. after 
a career of unexampled splendour and prosperity. 

Meanwhile, the sea-borne trade with the far 
East was also progressing. The Parthian war of 
162-165 a.d. and the terrible outbreak of plague 
at Babylon, had caused something like a panic 
in the silk traffic, and, a mercantile mission, 
pretending to come from the Emperor Marcus 
Aurelius, but really no doubt sent by the rich 
1 Strabo, xvi. 4. 24. 

R. 1. 9 



130 India and the Roman Empire 

merchants of Antioch or Alexandria, reached 
the court of the Chinese monarch Huan-ti in 
October, 166 a.d. They represented to the king 
that their master had always desired to send 
embassies to China, but the Parthians had wished 
to carry on the trade in Chinese silks, and for 
this reason they had been cut off from direct 
communication. They therefore represented them- 
selves as having been sent by Antun king of 
Ta-tsin (Antonius King of Syria), who offered 
ivory, rhinoceros horns, and tortoise-shell from 
the frontier of Annam. They brought no jewels, 
says the Chinese annalist, a fact which makes 
him suspect their story. However, from that 
date, he continues, direct intercourse between 
China and the West by sea began. No doubt 
the merchandise went from Annam to Nelkynda 
and was there shipped to Alexandria and Antioch \ 
Ptolemy, the great Alexandrian geographer, 
writing about this time, chiefly from information 
collected by Marinus of Tyre, exhibits a much 
fuller knowledge of the Asiatic coast than his 
predecessors, from which we may infer that the 
mission to the Chinese court was only part of 
a general pushing forward of Roman trade with 
the Far East. The author of the Periplus knew 

1 I follow Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, text p. 42, 
and commentary, pp. 173-8. See also Reinaud, Relations 
de V Empire Romain avec I'Asie Oriental, p. 184 ; Priaulx, 
Indian Embassies to Rome (J.R.A.S. xix. 294) and Yule's 
Cathay and the Way Thither. 



India and the Roman Empire 131 

little or nothing of the coast beyond the mouth 
of the Ganges. Ptolemy goes a great deal further, 
though, possibly because he had to depend upon 
the reports of illiterate seamen, his statements 
are often very confused and vague. He mixes 
up Java and Sumatra ; he says nothing of the 
Straits of Malacca, and he thinks that the Chinese 
coast, instead of trending northward, bends south- 
ward to meet the shores of Africa ! 

Before we find fault with a system which 
led to such extraordinary results, we should 
remember the difficulties with which Ptolemy 
had to contend. He was dependent for his 
information upon ignorant sailors, who often 
misspelt hopelessly the very names of the ports 
at which they touched. He had only their word 
for the direction in which they sailed from port 
to port, and this was often entirely wrong ; and 
for distance, as he himself confesses, he had to 
be content with calculating from the average 
run of a ship per day, with deductions to allow 
for irregularities of the coast, and other disturbing 
factors. The result of attempting to plot a map 
upon such data may be seen from the charts 
of Ptolemy. It led to the strangest contortions 
of the coast of India itself. Ptolemy seems to 
be quite unaware of the southward trend of the 
great peninsula ; he thinks that Barygaza is very 
little to the north of Cape Kory, while Palura 
is actually to the south of it ! In fact he pictures 
the coast of India, and of the country beyond, 

9—2 



132 India and the Roman Empire 

as running from west to east in a more or less 
continuous line, only broken by the Gangetic 
Gulf or Bay of Bengal. From Cape Kory to 
the Ganges, we have a series of towns, of which 
the most interesting is perhaps one, not named, 
which lies between Maesolia and Palura. Maesolia, 
the Masalia of the Periplus, is probably the 
Masulipatam district, and Palura, at the beginning 
of the Gangetic Gulf, lies a little further to the 
north 1 . From this place ships set out on the 
voyage to the Far East 2 . Crossing the Bay 
of Bengal, they arrived at Sada in the Silver 
Country 3 , and from Sada to Temala or Tamala 
near Cape Negrais. From here to a port called 
Zaba 4 , was a voyage of twenty days ; and from 
Zaba about the same distance to Kattigara. 
On this part of the voyage, however, Ptolemy 
admits himself to be very doubtful. His informa- 
tion is taken from Marinus, who in turn derived 
his from a trader named Alexander. Alexander's 
expression " some days," says Ptolemy, may 
mean anything, — few or many. 

Proceeding up the coast of India from Palura, 
Ptolemy arrives at the mouth of the Ganges. 
He is the first Western writer to mention the 

1 Colonel Yule puts it as far north as the Ganjam river. 

2 a.<^€.rrjptov twv €ts Xpvtr^v 7rXcovTO)v. 

3 VII. 2. 3. I. 13. 7. 

4 vii. 2. 6. It was at the head of the Gulf of Siam (the 
Great Gulf). Yule identifies it with Champa, and looks for 
it on the west coast of Camboja and probably near the Kampot 
or Kang-Kao river. (Ind. Ant. vi. 228.) 



India and the Roman Empire 133 

great Ganges delta. Even the writer of the 
Periplus says nothing of this, and Strabo and 
all earlier writers are silent upon the point, if 
we except Vergil's doubtful reference to the " seven 
calm streams" of that river 1 . Ptolemy assigns 
to the Ganges five mouths 2 . From the Ganges 
he goes on to Trans-Gangetic India 3 . First we 
arrive at the land of the Airrhadii, i.e. Further 
India from the Ganges to the Tokosanna or 
Arakan river ; then we come to the Silver Country, 
Arakan and Pegu ; then to Besynga or Bassein ; 
and finally to the Golden Chersonese, the Malay 
Peninsula. The name is a translation of the 
Sanskrit Suvarnabhumi, applied to the Irrawady 
delta, the Burmese documents similarly styling 
their frontier as the Sonaparanta (Aurea Regio) 4 . 
After this, we arrive at the Great Cape (Cape 
Camboja) and the Great Gulf or Gulf of Siam. 
At the western end of this gulf lay Zabae or 
Zaba, the port already mentioned for travellers 
sailing for Kattigara 5 . 

The inhabitants of Burma-Siam are described 
as being " fair, shaggy, squat-figured and flat- 
nosed," — a very good description on the whole. 
It is clear, from the frequent mention of marts, 
river-mouths and the like, that Ptolemy gets 
his information from traders who have been up 

1 Aen. ix. 30-31. 2 vii. I. 18. 3 vn. 2. 2. 

4 Suvarnabhumi, as we have already seen (Ch. 11), was 
known to merchants in the Jdtaka days. 

5 vii. 2. 6. 



134 India and the Roman Empire 

and down the coast. Even more interesting 
is the evidence that these traders penetrated 
beyond the Sunda Straits into the Eastern Seas. 
Ptolemy had a good deal to say about the Malay 
Archipelago. Among the " Islands of Transgan- 
getic India," he mentions Sindae, inhabited by 
cannibals; the Isle of Good Luck (AyaOov Scu^o^os) ; 
the Sabadeibae and Barusae Isles, also inhabited 
by cannibals ; the island of Iabadius, or Isle 
of Barley, very fertile, producing much gold 
and having as its capital Argyre, or Silver Town, 
at its western extremity ; the Isle of the Satyrs, 
where the inhabitants have tails ; and the magnetic 
rocks of the Maniolae, which attract ships, 
unless they are built with wooden pegs instead 
of nails. Of these islands, Sindae 1 , the Isle of 
Good Luck, and the Sabadeibae Isles, have been 
located off the coast of Sumatra ; the Barusae 
Islands are probably the Nicobars ; while the Isle 
of Satyrs no doubt took its name from the apes 
which the mariners saw on it. The story of the 
fabulous rocks of Maniolae, which attracted ships, 
is familiar to readers of the Arabian Nights. 
Far more important, however, is the reference 
to the island of Iabadius, or Java dvipa. The 
mention of this important island shews a very 
great advance in Western knowledge of the 
Far East. That there is no doubt about the 

1 Lassen, Ind. Alt. in. 250, sees in this name a reference 
to Indian traders (Sindhu). Yule thinks that the name 
survives in Sundar Fulat. Sabadeibae is Saba-dvipa. 



India and the Roman Empire 135 

identification, is shewn by the fact that Ptolemy 
knows that the word signifies in Sanskrit the 
"Isle of Barley V It is characteristic, however, 
of the vague and inaccurate information supplied 
by his illiterate informers, that Ptolemy confuses 
Java with the neighbouring island of Sumatra. 
The description given is obviously of Sumatra 
and not of Java at all. Sumatra, not Java, 
is rich in gold, and Argyre, the capital on the 
western extremity of the island, is in all probability 
Achin 2 . Java became later an important Hindu 
colony, as its great ruins testify ; both it and 
Cambodia became the seats of important bodies 
of settlers, perhaps partly owing to the extension 
of the China trade. Java, if we may judge from 
the narrative of Fa Hian, was an entrepot for 
traffic with the Far East, like the Arabian ports 
in the West ; and the island was visited again 
by Ibn Batuta in the fourteenth century. After 
rounding the coast of Indo-China, Ptolemy's 
account becomes more and more vague. He 
thinks that the coast-line, instead of bearing 
away to the north, turns southwards, finally 
connecting Asia and Africa, and enclosing the 
Indian Ocean so as to form, like the Mediterranean 
Sea, a huge landlocked expanse of water. After 
crossing the Gulf of Beasts (the Gulf of Tongking), 
we come to Kattigara, the last port in the known 
expanse of the ancient world, and here Ptolemy's 

1 Sanskrit yava, 'barley.' 

2 Bunbury, n. 643 ; Yule, Marco Polo, 11. 266, note. 



136 India and the Roman Empire 

account ends. Kattigara is probably Kian-chi 
in Tongking, for we learn from the Chinese annalist 
who tells us of the Roman embassy to China 
that the Romans (Ta-tsin) came there in great 
numbers to trade. Inland lay the great " Metro- 
polis of China 1 /' which had not, says Ptolemy, 
the brazen walls or other fabulous attributes 
usually assigned to it. It was probably Nankin. 
It had already been vaguely known to the Western 
world as a vast city exporting silk to Barygaza 
and the Ganges 2 . 

This concludes Ptolemy's account of the geo- 
graphy of India. He is, unfortunately, of little 
use for our purpose, for his great work is mathe- 
matical, not descriptive, and throws little or 
no light upon the condition of India in his day. 
"His object/' says McCrindle, "in composing 
it, was not, like that of the ordinary geographer, 
to describe places, but to correct and reform 
the map of the world in accordance with the 
increased knowledge which had been acquired 
of distant countries and with the improved state 
of science. He therefore limits his treatise 
to an exposition of the geometrical principles 
on which geography should be based and to a 
determination of the position of places on the 

1 The Sinae were the people of south-eastern China, 
known chiefly by trade from the sea and with Eastern India. 
The Seres or Silk-people lay to the west and north of the Sinae, 
and came in contact with the west by trade over the Pamirs. 

2 Ptolemy, Geog. vil. 3. 6 ; Periplus, § 64. 



India and the Roman Empire 137 

surface of the earth by their latitude and longi- 
tude/' " It differs from Strabo's production," he 
adds, " as the skeleton does from the living body." 

With Ptolemy we come to an end of the series 
of eminent geographers who have treated in detail 
the subject of India. The last Greek writer to 
deal with the subject of Indian travel is the monk 
Kosmas Indikopleustes, nearly five centuries later, 
who wrote when the mists of the Middle Ages 
were fast settling down upon the ancient world. 
The gap is, however, filled in, in a most interesting 
fashion, by a series of incidental notices appearing 
in philosophical and religious writers, Christian 
and pagan, of the time, who often exhibit an 
unexpectedly intimate knowledge of Indian philo- 
sophy, religion, and social observances. It is 
instructive, moreover, to observe the steady growth 
of knowledge about India which these writers 
exhibit, and to contrast them with Strabo, who 
knows little more than what he has learnt 
from Megasthenes, over two centuries before him. 
This intimacy was probably due both to the 
frequency with which Alexandrian and Syrian 
traders visited India, and also to the presence 
of Indians in Alexandria 1 . 

As we have already seen, there were probably 

1 The first Alexandrian to visit India was Skythianus 
a contemporary of the Apostles (J.R.A.S. xx. 267). Ptolemy 
and Dion Cassius mention Indians in Alexandria (As. Res. 
in. 53). So does St Chrysostom, Or. xxxn. 373. The first 
Indian mention of Alexandria is in the Gargi Satnhita (Yavana- 
pura) . 



138 India and the Roman Empire 

Roman colonies in Southern India, whose inhabi- 
tants, settling in the country for a considerable 
time, acquired a greater intimacy with Indian 
customs than had been possible before. The 
Manicheans owed many of their curious tenets 
to the Indian lore acquired in his Eastern travels 
by Terebinthus 1 , and the Gnostic heresy shews 
similar traces of Eastern influence. The debt of 
Neo-platonism to Oriental sources is indisputable, 
and when we observe the extent of the knowledge 
about Eastern beliefs exhibited, not only by 
Origen, but by orthodox writers like Clement 
and St Jerome, we cannot help wondering whether 
Christianity does not owe some of its developments, 
— monasticism and relic-worship, for instance, — 
to Buddhist influence. But this subject will 
be dealt with in a subsequent chapter. 

It should be remembered that from this time 
to the days of the great migration to Java, Indian 
shipping itself developed considerably. Mention 
has been already made of the ships, of considerable 
size, employed from the earliest times by Indian 
merchants. It was in the days of Eudoxus that 
the first Indian, a shipwrecked sailor, rescued 
by chance from a watery grave, reached Alexandria. 
The subsequent expansion in trade is marked by 
the rules for merchandise, shipping, and port- 
dues found in the Code of Manu 2 . It was probably 

1 One tradition says to Skythianus, the Alexandrian 
mentioned above. Terebinthus was his disciple. 

2 m. 158 ff. 



India and the Roman Empire 139 

some time in the first century a.d. that the first 
or Eastern invasion of Java, by colonists from 
Kalinga, took place. Subsequent invasions by 
large bodies of adventurers from Gujarat and 
the Western ports, are probably some three or 
four centuries later 1 . The interesting treatise on 
shipping, the Yuktikalpataru of Bhoja Narapati, 
may belong to this period. In this pamphlet, 
detailed directions for shipbuilding are given, 
and ships 176 cubits long, fitted with cabins, 
are referred to 2 . 

One of the most curious relics of the trade 
between Egypt and India was unearthed recently 
at Oxyrhynchus 3 . It is a papyrus of a Greek 
farce of the second century a.d. and contains 
the story of a Greek lady named Charition who 
has been shipwrecked on the Kanarese coast. 
The locality is identified by the fact that the 
king of the country addresses his retinue as 
'Ivhcov irpoiioi, and also by the discovery of the 
learned Dr Hultzsch 4 , that the barbarous jargon 
in which they address one another is actually 

1 The first Hindu colony reached Java from Kalinga about 
75 a.d. The first king was Aditya. The earliest inscriptions 
are in Vengi (i.e. Kalinga) dialect, and Kling is the Javanese 
for India. The immigrants from Gujarat were Buddhists. 

2 Mukerji, Indian Shipping, Ch. i. Rajendralal Mitra, 
Not. Skt. MSS. 1. 271. 

3 Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Grenfell and Hunt, 1903, No. 413, 
p. 41 ff. 

4 Hermes, xxxix. p. 307. In the same way a Cartha- 
ginian in the Mercator of Plautus speaks Punic. 



140 India and the Roman Empire 

Kanarese ! The identification of the dialect is 
made possible by one of the characters, who inter- 
prets some of the words into Greek 1 . 

Of other writers who refer to India, the earliest 
is Dio Chrysostom, who lived in the reign of 
Trajan and died in or after 117 a.d. 2 He mentions 
Indians among the cosmopolitan crowds to be 
found in the bazaars of Alexandria, and he says 
that they came " by way of trade." They made 
various assertions about their country, he adds, but 
they were not men of a very reputable class 3 . 
Chrysostom's information about India, however, 
is not very accurate or striking. He makes the 
misleading statement that the poetry of Homer, 
the woes of Andromache and Priam, and the 
death of Hector and Achilles, had been translated 
into the Indian language and modes of expression 4 . 
Chrysostom has led many people to imagine 
that Greek dramas were actually performed and 
understood in India, but this can never have 
been the case. Probably he was led astray by 
the accidental resemblances between certain Indian 
and Greek stories. The plot of the Iliad, — the 
rape of Helen, — for instance, bears a distant 

1 Thus he interprets kottws as tn&v So?. The Kanarese for 
this is kodisu. And so forth. 

2 For the literature of the subject, see especially Priaulx, 
Indian Travellers, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, and Indian 
Embassies to Rome (J.R.A.S. xix. p. 294). 

3 Or. xxxn. 373, ed. Morell. 

4 Or. Lin. 544, ed. Morell. 



India and the Roman Empire 141 

likeness to the rape of Sita in the Ramayana. 
His assertion is repeated by Aelian 1 . 

Much more accurate is the knowledge possessed 
by the Christian writer Clement of Alexandria, 
who died about 220 a.d. Clement derived much 
of his information from his tutor Pantaenus, 
one of the earliest Christian missionaries to visit 
India 2 . Clement starts by telling us that the 
Brahmin sect take no wine and abstain from 
flesh. The latter was a doctrine which found 
much favour with Neo-platonists (as we see 
from Porphyry's Ilepl 01770^5 tcov ifxipv-^cop) . He 
goes on to add that they worship Pan and Herakles, 
— probably Brahma, the "All-God/' and Siva, — 
and abstain from women. But the most important 
of his statements are that the Brahmins despise 
death and set no value on life, because they believe in 
transmigration (-rrakiyytvecria) ; and that the ttfxvoi 
(Sramana or Buddhists) worship a kind of pyramid 
beneath which they imagine that the bones of a divinity 
of some kind lie buried 3 . This remarkable allusion 
to the Buddhist stupa is the earliest reference 
in Western literature to a unique feature of 
Buddhism, and must have been derived from 
some informant intimately acquainted with the 

1 V.H. xii. 48. Also by Plutarch, Vit. Alex. 

2 Yet he had predecessors, for he found there a Christian 
church said to have been founded by St Bartholomew, owning 
a Hebrew text of St Matthew's Gospel. Eusebius, E.H. 



v. 10. 
3 



Stromal, in. 194, ed. Dindorf. 



142 India and the Roman Empire 

doctrines of Gautama. Clement distinguishes 
clearly between Buddhist and Brahmin, — Sarmanae 
and Brachmanae. Earlier writers like Megasthenes 
confuse them. Archelaus of Carrha (278 a.d.) 
and St Jerome (340 a.d.) both mention Buddha 
(Buddas) by name and narrate the tradition of 
his virgin birth 1 . The Buddha story became 
gradually known in the West, until, by a coinci- 
dence hardly to be paralleled in literature, it was 
narrated, in the eighth century a.d. by John of 
Damascus as the life of a Christian saint. Under 
the guise of Saint Josaphat, Gautama the Bodhi- 
sattva found his way into the Christian Church, and 
was included in the Martyrology of Gregory XIII 

(1582) \ 

We must now turn our attention to the very 
interesting work of Bardesanes the Babylonian 
on the Indian Gymnosophists. This treatise was 
extensively used by Porphyry, and there can 
be little doubt that it was through Bardesanes, 
that Indian philosophy exercised so great an 
influence on the development of Neo-platonism. 
Two important passages from the lost work of 
Bardesanes have been preserved, each shewing 

1 The passages are given in McCrindle, Ancient India, 
pp. 184-5. Terebinthus, mentioned above, according to 
Archelaus, called himself the new Buddha, and said he was 
born of a virgin and brought up on a mountain by the angels ! 

2 For Barlaam and Josaphat see Max Miiller, Selected 
Essays, 1. 500. For text, Loeb Classical Library, London, 
1914, and for the growth of the legend, Jacobs, Barlaam and 
Josaphat, 1896. 



India and the Roman Empire 143 

a most remarkably intimate knowledge of India 
on the part of the writer. His informant is 
stated to have been one Sandanes, Sandales, 
Dandamis or Damadamis, an Indian who came 
with an embassy to Syria to welcome the Emperor 
Elagabalus to the throne in 218 a.d. The first 
of these passages is to be found in the treatise 
Ile/n dTToxfjs to>v ijjbxjjv^cov already referred to 1 . 
It begins by distinguishing carefully between 
the Brahmins, — a hereditary priesthood, descended 
from a common ancestry, and the Sarmanes, 
or Buddhists, who are drawn from all classes. 
The Brahmin, he says, is not even subject to 
the king, and pays no tribute. He lives in the 
mountains or by the Ganges, as a solitary recluse, 
and devotes his time to solitary meditation and 
the service of the gods. The Sarmanes were 
quite different in their habits. They were drawn 
from all castes, and when they took their vows, 
they went to the village magistrate and made 
a declaration disposing of their goods. The candi- 
date was then shaved, put on the robe of his 
order, and joined the fraternity. His wife went 
back to her relatives, and the state took charge 
of his children. Of life in a Buddhist monastery, 
the following account of Bardesanes is extremely 
interesting, and should be compared with that 
given by Hiuen Tsiang, the Chinese traveller 2 , 
of life in the great Nalanda monastery four 

1 De Abstinentia, iv. 17-18. 

2 Life, trans. Beal, ill. ill. 



144 India ana the Roman Empire 

centuries later : " Their houses and temples are 
founded by the king, and in them are stewards 
who receive a fixed allowance from the state 
for the support of the inmates of the monastery, 
consisting of rice, bread, fruit, and herbs. When 
the monastery bell rings, all the strangers with- 
draw, and the monks enter and offer prayer. 
Prayer over, the bell is again rung, and the 
attendants give each monk a bowl of food, for 
two never eat out of the same dish. The bowl 
contains rice, but if anyone wants a variety 
of food, vegetables and fruits are added. Dinner 
is soon over, and the monks return to their several 
avocations. They are not allowed to marry or 
possess property. Both they and the Brahmins 
are held in such high esteem that the king himself 
will come and ask for their prayers and their 
counsel in times of emergency and danger/' 
The writer then goes on to describe the practice 
of self-immolation, which, though forbidden by 
Gautama, had become increasingly common among 
Buddhist ascetics. 

The second passage, preserved for us by 
Stobaeus 1 , is even more striking. After describing 
a system of Trial by Ordeal in which water was 
employed, somewhat as mentioned by Hiuen 
Tsiang, the writer goes on to the following remark- 
able description of a rock-temple. "The Indian 
ambassadors told me further that there was a 
large natural cave in a very high mountain almost 

1 Physica, i. 56, ed. Gaisford. 



India and the Roman Empire 145 

in the middle of the country. Herein was a 
statue ten or twelve cubits high, standing upright, 
with its hands folded crosswise. And the right 
half of its face was that of a man, and the left 
half that of a woman. In like manner the right 
hand and right foot, — in a word, the whole of 
the right side, — were male, and the left female, 
and the spectator was wonderstruck at the com- 
bination, when he saw how indissolubly the two 
dissimilar halves coalesced into a single body. 
On the right breast was engraved the sun and 
on the left the moon, and on the arms a host 
of angels (devas), the sky, mountains, rivers 
and seas, plants and animals, and all the world 
contains ." After going on to say that this statue 
had been given by the chief god to his son at 
the creation of the world, Bardesanes adds that 
it was made of a very hard substance resembling 
wood, but proof against rot. Probably this was 
teak. On the head of the statue sat a god, as 
if on a throne, and the sweat ran down the statue 
in the hot season almost to the ground, so that the 
attendant Brahmins had to cool it with their fans. 
Then comes another curious passage. " In the 
depths of the cave, far behind the statue, is a 
long dark passage, and here, say the Indians, 
the devotees advance with lighted torches till 
they come to a door. Out of the door water 
gushes and forms a pool at the far end of the cave. 
All who desire to prove themselves must pass 
through the door. To those who have led a 
r. 1. 10 



146 India and the Roman Empire 

pure life the door opens readily, and they find 
within a clear, sweet fountain, the source of the 
pool without. But the wicked strive in vain to 
push past the door, for it closes fast upon them." 

There is little doubt that we have in this 
passage a description of one of the great Hindu 
rock-temples of the Deccan — Elephanta, Ajanta, or 
Kanheri 1 . Sandanes, the informant of Bardesanes, 
probably came from the Deccan. In the Periplus 2 , 
a certain Sandares or Sandanes is mentioned, 
probably Sundara Satakarni. This Sandanes was 
therefore probably Sundara, a Saka from the 
Deccan too. The androgynous image was no doubt 
Arddhanarishvara, Siva in his double aspect, 
and the god (or goddess) seated upon his head, 
the Ganges nestling in his matted locks. From 
this arose, perhaps, the legend of the " streams 
of sweat " flowing down the statue. The curious 
passage about the Door reminds us of a similar 
test said to be applied to candidates in the cave- 
temple at the Eleusinian mysteries and refers, 
no doubt, to some forgotten esoteric rite. 

Of other notices of India (passing over the purely 
fictitious account given by Philostratus of the 
wanderings of that prince of impostors, Apollonius 
of Tyana) we may select for mention a little 
pamphlet of the fifth century on the Nations 

1 Burgess (Elephanta, p. 20, 1871 edn.) says that Bar- 
desanes is describing the gigantic image at Elephanta which 
stands in the chapel on the left of the shrine of the Trimurti. 

2 Periplus, § 52. 



litdia and the Roman Empire 147 

of India, included in the Romance History of 
Alexander of the Pseudo-Kallisthenes K The writer 
mentions having visited Southern India. There 
he was the guest of Moses, bishop of Adule, 
no doubt a Nestorian prelate. It is interesting 
to observe this early reference to the Christian 
Church in Southern India. He was deterred by 
the great heat from going far inland, but a friend 
of his, a Theban scholar, had shewn greater courage, 
and gave the writer some miscellaneous and not 
very accurate information about what he had 
seen. He visited Ceylon and was falsely informed 
that the king of that island was overlord of South 
India. He was told about the Laccadives, a 
group of " thousands of islands " (Laksha dvlpa), 
where the coconut was plentiful, and he observed 
that pork was never eaten in the East. He learnt 
that the pepper of Southern India was collected 
by the Bisadae, stunted men with large heads. 
These are the Besatae of the Periplus 2 , a name 
contemptuously given by the Indians to the 
aboriginal tribes, derived from vishada, dullness 3 . 
Of the Brahmins, the writer recounts the usual 
stories, with no novel or interesting particulars. 

We now come to the last voyage of the ancient 
world to visit India. Kosmas Indikopleustes, 
a monk of the sixth century a.d. travelled down 
the Red Sea, and took ship to India and Ceylon. 

1 McCrindle, Ancient India, p. 178. 

2 §65. 

3 See p. 123, supra, 

10 — 2 



148 India and the Roman Empire 

The eleventh book of his Christian Topography 
gives an account of his experiences. His narrative 
resembles in many respects that of the writer 
referred to above. Like him, Kosmas found 
Christianity making good headway in Ceylon and 
South India. In Ceylon was a " Persian/' 
i.e. Nestorian, Church, with a ritual of its own 
and a presbyter and deacon appointed in Persia. 
In the pepper country of Male (Malabar) was 
another, and a third as far north as Kalyan, 
with a Persian bishop. Christianity was spreading 
rapidly in Persia, Baktria, and Turkestan, and 
even in Sokotra, as Kosmas learnt from travellers, 
was a bishopric with a large following. In the 
northern part of India the White Huns already 
ruled, but the trade ports still prospered 1 . Of 
these Kosmas especially notices Sindu (the Indus 2 
mouth), Orathra (Surashtra), Kalyan, Sibor (Simylla 
or Chaul), Male (Malabar), Mangaroutha (Manga- 
lore), and the Pepper-country. Next, he says, 
comes Ceylon, and then China. China did a 
flourishing trade with India in silk, aloes, cloves 
and sandalwood, and beyond it, says Kosmas, 
lies a vast expanse of sea. It is interesting 
to notice how the knowledge of China had increased 
since the days of Ptolemy. A century after 
this, we find Hiuen Tsiang sailing back to China 
via Sumatra by a regular route. Ceylon had in 

1 Their king was named Gollas. 

2 Like the Pseudo-Kallisthenes he identifies the Indus and 
the Phison of Genesis ! 



India and the Roman Empire 149 

the days of Kosmas attained great prosperity. 
As at the present moment, it was the great entrepot 
of trade from China, India and the West. " Its 
position is central," says Kosmas, " and it is 
a great resort of ships from India, Persia and 
Ethiopia, and despatches many of its own." 
Its native name, he continues, is Sieladiba (Sinhala 
dvipa, the island of the Sinhalese or Lion people, 
whence the modern Ceylon), but the Indians 
call it Tapropane (Tdmraparm). It had two 
kings, — probably the Sinhalese king of Anura- 
dhapura, and the Tamil ruler of the north, — and 
these two monarchs were frequently at war with 
one another. The Sinhalese monarch possessed 
a gigantic sapphire 1 , "as large as a pine-cone, 
fire-coloured, and flashing far and wide in the 
sunshine, a matchless sight." It was placed in 
a temple which stood on an eminence. This 
famous jewel was no fiction upon the part of 
Kosmas. Hiuen Tsiang, a century later, writes 
of it : " Every night, when the sky is clear, and 
without clouds, can be seen at a great distance 
the glittering rays of the gem placed on the top 
of the stupa of Buddha's tooth ; its appearance 
is like that of a shining star in the midst of space V 
Marco Polo had heard of it, but calls it a ruby. 

Kosmas repeats a story, already told by Pliny, 
of how a Persian and a Roman trader arrived 
simultaneously at one of the Ceylon ports. They 

1 'YdtavQos. Perhaps amethyst. 

2 Life of Hiuen Tsiang, trans. Beal, iv. 134. 



150 India and the Roman Empire 

were received in audience by the Sinhalese monarch. 
The Persian talked volubly of the greatness of his 
country, but the Roman was silent. Then the king 
turned to the Roman and said, " Have you nothing 
to say ? " The Roman, for reply, handed him 
a Roman aureus and bade him compare it with 
the Persian drachma. When the king contrasted 
the finely stamped gold coin of the Roman with 
the rough silver one of the Sassanian dynasty, 
he at once recognised the superiority of Rome 
as a trading nation. In Pliny's version \ a f reed- 
man of Claudius, Annius Plocamus by name, who 
farmed the Red Sea revenues, was carried out to 
sea by a gale and landed at Hippuri (Kudremale, 
in the gulf of Manar). Here he was detained and 
convinced the Sinhalese, of the greatness of Rome 
by shewing them the uniformity of weight and 
workmanship of the coins in his possession. 
Kosmas includes in his account of the East a 
description of the animals and plants which he 
had come across, and he often gives them, very 
accurately, their Indian names. Amongst the 
animals enumerated are the rhinoceros, the ox 
deer, the giraffe, the wild ox, the musk deer, 
the hog deer, the hippopotamus, and the unicorn 
(which he truthfully owns he never saw, " but 

1 N.H. vi. 22. The narrative seems hardly appropriate 
to the days of Kosmas when Roman trade was fast dying 
out, owing to the destruction of the Empire of the West 
and the rivalry of the Sassanians. It had become a stock 
story, and was no doubt told in many forms. 



India and the Roman Empire 151 

only statues in the royal palace of Ethiopia "). 
Among " fishes," the seal, dolphin, and tortoise. 
Among plants, the coconut palm, and the pepper 
plant. 

The long night of the Middle Ages was now 
settling down upon the Western world. The 
Neo-Sassanian Empire, with its great Persian 
renaissance, had manned a fleet which was fast 
sweeping the Roman vessels from Eastern waters. 
In 364 a.d., the first fatal step in the downfall 
of Rome had been taken, when the Empire was 
divided. In 410 came the Goths, and fifty years 
later the mightiest kingdom the world has ever 
seen had ceased to be. Yet even then Alaric's 
demand for " three thousand pounds of pepper " 
as part of the ransom of Rome, shewed that 
Eastern luxuries still found their way in vast 
quantities to the Imperial city. The Roman 
coins 1 found in South India tell their own tale. 
After Septimius Severus (211 a.d.), they dwindle 
rapidly, though there is a single hoard belonging 
to the days of Arcadius and Honorius (395 A.D.). 
No later coins of Western Emperors have been 
unearthed. Trade with the Eastern Empire, in 
spite of Persian rivalry, struggled feebly on, and 
a few scattered specimens of the time of Anastasius 
(491 a.d.) and Justinus (518 a.d.) are recorded. 
The latest coin found in Ceylon belongs to the 

1 For this and much other valuable information in this 
chapter, I am indebted to Mr R. Sewell's exhaustive article 
on Roman Coins found in India (J.R.A.S. 1904, p. 591). 



152 India and the Roman Empire 

reign of Honorius. The latest recorded Eastern 
embassy to Constantinople reached that city in 
530 A.D. 1 

APPENDIX I 

CEYLON IN THE CLASSICS 

Besides the account given of Ceylon by Kosmas Indiko- 
pleustes, there are several notices of that island in the classics. 
Onesikritus, the pilot of Alexander, starts the legend that 
it was 5000 stadia long, — 625 miles. Its actual length is 
271J miles. Strabo, Ptolemy, Pliny, and the writer of the 
Periplus repeat this, and often further exaggerate it. Pliny's 
account is the fullest. It was seven days sail, he says, from 
the country of the Prasii (i.e. the Bengal ports), but the 
coast is treacherous and unsafe in the south-west monsoon. 
The sailors take birds to guide them to shore when out of 
sight of land. This, we have seen, is an old Buddhist custom. 
Pliny then goes on to tell the story of the freedman of Annius 
Plocamus who was wrecked on the coast, and captivated 
the Sinhalese king by shewing him Roman coins. The 
monarch then sent an embassy, headed by one Rachia (Raja) 
to Claudius. This Rachia said that his father had often 
gone to trade with the Seres, beyond the Himalayas, where 
the " silent barter " of malobathrum and other goods went 
on, as described by the author of the Periplus. But as Pliny 
says that the Seres had " yellow hair and blue eyes," it has 
been thought that he means the Cheras, a fair race living in 
the Mysore district 2 . Pliny says the capital of Ceylon is 
Palaesimundus (perhaps Palaisimanta) 3 a large city which 
may be Anuradhapura. He speaks of a great lake called 

1 Johannes Malala, 477, apud McCrindle, Ancient India, 
p. 212. 

2 Kennedy, J.R.A.S. 1904, p. 360 ff. 

3 Also in Ptolemy. 



India and the Roman Empire 153 

Megisba, which may be one of the huge tanks, like Tissa 
Wewa, of the Sinhalese monarchs. But he supposes it to 
be 375 miles round ! The rest of Pliny's account of Ceylon 
is a queer mixture of fact and fancy. The Sinhalese are 
depicted as an ideal race, living gentle, peaceful lives. The 
king is elected, and assisted by a council of thirty. The 
condemned criminal has a right of appeal to the people. 
All this panegyric, though quite untrue, may have been 
suggested by the gentle and peaceful nature of the Sinhalese, 
which, together with the influence of Buddhism, made Ceylon 
an unusually happy island. (See Emerson Tennant's Ceylon 
London, 1859, v °l- I 



APPENDIX II 

THE ROMAN EMPERORS 

Augustus 29 B.c-14 A.D. 

Tiberius a.d. 14-37. 

Caligula a.d. 37-41. 

Claudius a.d. 41-54. 

Nero a.d. 54-68. 

Galba, Otho, Vitellius a.d. 68-69. 

Vespasian a.d. 69-79. 

Titus a.d. 79-81. 

Domitian a.d. 81-96. 

Nerva a.d. 96-98. 

Trajan a.d. 98-117. 

Hadrian a.d. 117-138. 

Antoninus Pius a.d. 138-161. 

Marcus Aurelius a.d. 161- 180. 

Commodus a.d. 180-193. 

Septimius Severus, etc a.d. 193-211. 

Caracalla a.d. 211-217. 

Macrinus a.d. 217. 

Heliogabalus a.d. 218-222. 



154 India and the Roman Empire 

Alexander Severus a.d. 222-235. 

Maximinus ) 

TheGordiansI a.d. 235-244. 

Philip a.d. 244-249. 

Decius a.d. 249. 

Gallus, Aemilianus a.d. 249-253. 

Valerian a.d. 253-260. 

Gallienus a.d. 260-268. 

Claudius a.d. 268-270. 

Aurelian a.d. 270-275. 

Tacitus a.d. 275-276. 

Probus a.d. 276-282. 

Cams a.d. 282-283. 

Carinus, Numerian a.d. 283. 

Diocletian a.d. 284-305. 

Constantius, etc a.d. 305-323. 

Constantine I a.d. 323-353. 

Constantine II : a.d. 353-361. 

Julian A.D. 361-363. 

Jovian a.d. 363. 

EMPERORS OF THE EAST 



Valens 


A.D. 


364-379. 


Marcian 


A.D. 


45o-457« 


Theodosius I 


A.D. 


379-395- 


Leo I 


A.D. 


457-474' 


Arcadius 


A.D. 


395-408. 


Leo II. 


A.D. 


474- 


Theodosius II 


A.D. 


408-45O. 










Kuvera. (From an Indo-Greek sculpture) 

(By permission of the Curator, Lahore Museum) 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE EFFECTS OF THE INTERCOURSE BETWEEN 
INDIA AND THE WEST 

We have seen, in the preceding chapters of 
this book, that for a period of about a thousand 
years, — from the invasion of Darius to the sack 
of Rome by the Goths, — India was in more or less 
constant communication with the West. Had this 
long intercourse of nearly ten centuries any 
influence upon the development of the art, litera- 
ture, or thought of either India or of the Greco- 
Roman world ? 

It has already been shewn that the inter- 
course between India and Greece, before the days 
of Alexander, was of an indirect nature. Indian 
goods reached the Mediterranean from Persian 
or Phoenician caravans ; the Indian traders them- 
selves never went further than Babylon or the 
mouth of the Red Sea. Greece had no direct 
communication with India. What she knew of 
India, she had learnt from Greeks in Persian 
employ, like Ktesias or Skylax. Of the great 
civilization of ancient India, its philosophy and 
religion, Greece knew — and cared — nothing. The 
Greeks were singularly indifferent to the literature 



156 Effects of the Intercourse between 

or civilization of their contemporaries. They 
looked on them all as " barbarians/' and treated 
them with equal contempt. It is extraordinary- 
how little they found out about even their near 
neighbours, the Persians. Hence we may dismiss 
at once the theory that the Pythagorean philosophy, 
for instance, owes anything to India. It is curious, 
however, to notice how many points of resemblance 
there are between the mystical philosophy of the 
Orphic and Pythagorean schools, and Indian 
beliefs 1 . First and foremost, there is the doctrine 
of Metempsychosis {irakiyyevecria). But this was 
a tenet neither of the earliest Greeks nor of the 
original Aryans of the Panj ab. Practically no traces 
of it are found in the Vedas, or in the poems of 
Homer. The Vedic hero, like the Homeric hero, 
goes to dwell in the Elysium of Yama, the proto- 
man, and returns no more to earth 2 . The belief 
in re-incarnation appears first in India in its most 
primitive form in the Chdndogya Upanishad. In 
Greece, it is first traced to the Orphic schools, 
who acquired it, we may suppose, in Thrace. 
It seems probable, in a word, that both Greeks 
and Indians acquired the doctrine from the 
primitive peoples with whom they came in contact, 
— the Greeks from the Thracians, the Aryans from 

1 See for the whole subject the exhaustive article Pythagoras 
and Transmigration, by A. B. Keith, in J.R.A.S. 1909, p. 569, 
with a full bibliography. This is the last word on the subject, 
and sums up all possible sources of information. 
Veda, x. 14. 



India and the IVest 157 

the prae-Aryan tribes of the Ganges valley. Once 
acquired, the doctrine naturally assumed the form 
it did, for it provides the most natural of solutions 
to the eternal questions of the destiny of the 
soul and the existence of evil. Thus we find in 
Plato (in the closing episode of the Republic, for 
instance), something which resembles very closely 
the doctrine of karma, or retribution, commonly 
held by all Hindu sects. Again, the Pythagorean 
" tabus " on wine, animal food, etc., remind the 
reader of Buddhism. But Pythagoras lived before 
Gautama, and the ahimsa doctrine of Buddhism, 
shared also by the Brahmins and Jains, was a 
later development. Gautama himself died of 
eating some tainted flesh, offered to him by a 
humble follower. Finally, we may ask why, if 
Pythagoras, Plato, or any other Greek philosopher 
before the days of Alexander, borrowed anything 
from India, we find no mention of the fact in con- 
temporary Greek literature. There are stories about 
visits paid to Egypt by both Pythagoras and Plato, 
and there is nothing intrinsically improbable in 
this. But a journey to India, except under very 
unusual circumstances, was at that time almost 
a physical impossibility 1 . And Plato never men- 
tions Indian philosophy, or India at all, in all his 

1 The story of a visit to the Brahmins is told by very 
late writers, such as Diogenes and Iamblichus, of more than 
one early philosopher. But there is not the slightest trace 
of this legend before the 2nd century a. d. It never occurs in 
contemporary literature. 



158 Effects of the Intercourse between 

writings. Herodotus says nothing of the Indian 
doctrine of transmigration, and in a single sentence, 
he casually remarks that " some Indians kill 
nothing that has life, but live on herbs 1 ." Egypt, 
not India, was the source, if any, from which 
Greece borrowed her early philosophy. Herodotus 
tells us distinctly that the Egyptians were the 
first to propound the theory of the transmigration 
of the soul, after death, through a cycle of other 
lives 2 ; and in a well-known passage of the Laws 
Plato talks of the Greeks as children compared to 
the Egyptians in knowledge. In a word, there is 
not a single reference in Greek literature before 
328 B.C. which gives us the slightest reason for 
supposing that the Greeks knew of the existence 
of Indian philosophy at all. The Indians, on 
the other hand, were equally ignorant of the 
literature and civilization of Greece, and equally 
indifferent to any system of thought outside India. 
If they ever heard of the Yavanas (Panini mentions 
them once), it was in a doubtful and vague way, 
probably because an occasional Greek, like Skylax 
of Karyanda, in the service of the Persians, visited 
the Panjab. It is therefore with surprise that we 
find no less an authority than Burnet 3 writing that 

1 in. 100. Mention has already been made (Ch. 11.), of 
one or two Indian stories which have found their way into 
Herodotus. But this does not affect the argument. 

2 11. 123. Nor did this doctrine come through Egypt 
from India. Egypt is centuries older than India. 

3 Early Greek Philosophy, p. 21. The chief supporter 
of the theory is von Schroder, Pythagoras und die Inder (1884). 



India and the IVest 159 

" everything points to the conclusion that Indian 
philosophy came from Greece/' The resemblances, 
superficially very striking, are often, on thorough 
investigation, found to be far less complete than 
they appear to be at first sight. As for the theory 
of Metempsychosis, it has been found to exist 
among many early races. The Celts, for instance, 
believed in it, as Julius Caesar discovered 1 . The 
legend said to be inscribed upon king Arthur's 
tomb 

Hie iacet Arthurus, Rex quondam Rexque futurus, 

is one of the many traces, often overlaid by 
Christianity, of the original Celtic belief in this 
doctrine. Yet no one will be disposed to contend 
that the Celts borrowed it from the Greeks. It is 
far more probable that the belief was a common 
one among early peoples, and held by Celts and 
Thracians alike, long before the Greeks acquired it. 
India was totally unaffected by Greece before 
the days of Alexander. Between the two countries 
lay the unsurmountable barriers of vast seas, 
deserts, mountains and hostile nations ; these 
alone would have made intercourse impossible, 
without the obstacles of an alien tongue and 
mutual exclusiveness. On the other hand, as 
we have already seen, there had been a long and 
continuous intercourse between India and the great 
nations of Asia Minor. Yet, as we have stated in 
a previous chapter, the traces of this contact are 

1 De Bello Gallico, vi. 14. 5. 



160 Effects of the Intercourse between 

on the whole doubtful and comparatively insignifi- 
cant. India may owe to her intercourse with the 
Semitic races her earliest script, perhaps too her 
calendar, her system of weights and measures, and 
some Puranic legends. Persia, of course, was in 
close contact with India for nearly two centuries, 
and the Panjab was a Persian satrapy for that 
period. Indian architecture appears to have as- 
similated a great many Persian forms, but on the 
whole, the effects of the contact were surprisingly 
few. Indian literature could find nothing to borrow 
from her great neighbour. 

We now come to the invasion of Alexander. 
Alexander himself, owing to his untimely death, 
had no direct influence upon India, and in the 
great upheaval which followed, the Macedonian 
power in the Panjab, with its colonies and wharfs 
and harbours, was swept away in a moment. 
But the contact between East and West, once 
established, was never entirely severed. Alexan- 
der's followers, in their numerous narratives of 
their great adventure, first informed their country- 
men of the beliefs and customs of the East. Greeks 
heard for the first time of Brahmins and Sramanas, 
people with superstitions and beliefs strangely like 
their own. Besides considerable bodies of settlers 
who remained behind in the Panjab, there was 
the great Greek colony at Baktra, on the highroad 
to India. At the same time, the Maurya Emperors, 
thanks to the extraordinarily enlightened policy 
of the great founder of their dynasty, kept in 



India and the West 161 

close touch with their Greek neighbours. Yet 
here, again, it is remarkable how little the Greek 
spirit influenced India. Hellenism, which affected 
profoundly the whole of Western Asia and even 
Egypt, stopped short at the Hindu Kush, in spite 
of the presence of a Greek rani at Pataliputra and 
of the close and friendly relations existing between 
the Mauryas and their brother monarchs of Syria 
and Egypt. Chandragupta, who had spent his 
early days as an exile in the Panjab, where Persian 
civilization had taken a strong hold on the country 
was imbued with Persian ideas. Of Greek culture 
he and his successors exhibit hardly a trace. 

With the break up of the Maurya Empire, 
however, came a fresh foreign invasion of North- 
western India. Disturbances in Central Asia 
drove the Baktrian Greeks south of the Hindu 
Kush, where they established a kingdom with 
its capital at Sagala, afterwards splitting up into 
a series of petty principalities. These Greek 
principalities, after enjoying considerable power for 
a time, were succeeded, as we have already seen, 
firstly by Skythian or Saka chiefs, and finally 
by the Kushan tribe, who quickly absorbed all 
the petty states of the Panjab and established 
a vast Empire, with its capital at Peshawar, 
stretching from the Oxus to the Ganges. 

It is an interesting and still unsolved problem, 
how far the Baktrian Greeks actually affected the 
civilization of North- Western India. Probably the 
results of their bri^f reign were not great. They 

R.I. II 



1 62 Effects of the Intercourse between 

were a mere handful, and their coins shew that 
they were rapidly absorbed by the surrounding 
population. The coins of Demetrius, for instance, 
are purely Hellenic ; those of Menander a curious 
compromise between Greece and India. Again, 
there is evidence that the Baktrian Greeks very 
largely adopted the religion of their neighbours, 
and they could scarcely do this until they had 
become Hindus in all but name. The conversion 
of Menander to Buddhism is as dramatic as that 
of Asoka. In the Nasik caves is a Una owned by 
" Indragnidatta a Yonaka from Dattamitra (De- 
metria) in the north/' In the Karla caves are several 
votive offerings from Greeks, some of them being 
from Benakataka near Nasik 1 . Most remarkable 
of all is the curious inscription on the Garuda 
pillar from Besnagar, recording that it is the work 
of " Heliodorus son of Dion, a Greek envoy 2 
from Takhasila, sent by the Maharaja Antalkidas 3 ." 
From these inscriptions it will be seen that the 
Greeks in the Panjab and in Western India rapidly 
became converts to Hinduism and Buddhism, and 
were so little distinguishable from their neighbours 
that they even took Hindu names. Further than 
this, the solitary monument of Baktrian archi- 
tecture, — the Besnagar pillar referred to above, — 
is purely Indo-Persian in type. No trace of 
Menander's famous capital at Sagala has survived, 

1 Bombay Gazetteer, xvm. Ins. No. 7 & 10. Rapson, 
Coins of the Andhras, Int. xxix., xlvii. 

2 Yona-duta (?) 3 J.R.A.S. 1909, p. ioq2. 



India and the West 163 

but there is no reason to suppose that it was in 
the Greek style 1 . It is probable, however, that 
a corrupt Greek was spoken among these half caste 
settlers, and was perhaps the lingua franca of the 
Greek, Indo-Parthian, and Saka tribes at that 
time. The Indo-Parthians had an additional 
reason to use Greek, as that was the court language 
of Parthia. They also used the Greek names for 
the months 2 . 

With the Kushans we come upon different 
ground. These great rulers, about whom we 
know only too little, built up a vast Empire, 
comprising a variety of nationalities. In the 
Pan jab were semi- Asiatic Greeks, Parthians, 
Skythians, Hindus. In Afghanistan and Baktria, 
besides the remnants of the older Skythian and 
Iranian settlers, were Greeks, Parthians, and their 
own countrymen from Central Asia. Besides this, 
the Kushan monarchs were in intimate touch 
with the Roman power in Asia Minor. With the 
establishment of the Roman Empire, traders began 
to come to Western India in great numbers, both 
by land and sea. The Roman Emperors pursued 
a forward policy in Asia, and Trajan pushed forward 
to within six hundred miles of the Kushan frontiers. 
It was probably in his time that intercourse 

1 Sir J. H. Marshall, however, traces the Gandhara sculptures 
to the workmanship of Baktrian Greeks, not, as is usually 
supposed, to workmen imported by Kanishka (J.R.A.S. 
1909, p. 1060 ff.). 

2 Panemus in the Taxila copperplate inscription of Patika. 

11— 2 



164 Effects of the Intercourse between 

between India and the Roman power in Asia 
Minor reached its height. More than one embassy 
had been sent to the Roman Emperors from the 
Kushan monarchs. One which reached Rome in 
the days of Trajan was treated by him with the 
utmost courtesy and distinction. The cosmo- 
politan nature of the Empire of the Kushan kings 
is shewn by their coins. Kadphises I imitates 
the bronze and copper coinage of Augustus 1 . 
Kadphises II strikes an aureus in imitation of the 
Roman coin, — probably re-striking the actual 
Roman aureus 2 . Some of the coins of Kanishka 
represent a most curious blending of nationalities 
and creeds : the king appears in Turki dress, 
standing by a fire-altar, and the coin bears a 
polyglot inscription in Greek letters shaonanoshao 
Kaneshki Koshano, " Kanishka the Kushan, King 
of Kings 3 ." The use of the Persian phrase 
Shahan Shah, BacriXevs /3acri\eW, is very curious. 
So is the employment of J? to represent sh, a 
sound which finds no expression in the Greek 
alphabet. These coins were, no doubt, like those 
bearing the image of NANAIA 4 (Anaitis, the 

1 Gardner, Cat. Greek and Scythic Kings in B.M. xxv. 5. 

2 Ibid. 6-10. 

3 Ibid. xxvi. 4-19. Gardner, of course, fails to see that 
]> = sh. This was first discovered, I think, by Burgess, 
and propounded in the Indian Antiquary. It may be the 
old San letter revived. 

4 Ibid. xxvi. 3. etc. See also Stein, Zoroastrian Deities 
on Indo-Scythian Coins (Babylonian and Oriental Record, 1. 
133)- 



India and the West 165 

tutelary goddess of Balkh), and other Iranian 
deities, struck for use in the Iranian parts of the 
Kushan Empire. Another typical coin of the time 
bears a male figure of the moon and the super- 
scription 2AAHNH 1 . The most important achieve- 
ment of the Kushans, however, from our present 
point of view, was the importation of a large 
number of Greek sculptors from Asia Minor, 
to decorate the Buddhist monasteries, stupas, and 
other religious buildings which were erected all over 
the Peshawar district after the conversion of 
Kanishka 2 . These sculptors appear to have settled 
down in the Pan jab, and their work, at first purely 
Greek, becomes much more tinged, as time goes 
on, with Indian ideas, particularly those of the 
indigenous Buddhist school of Sanchi and Barhut. 
Remains of this school have been found extensively 
in the Gandhara district, from which they have 
received their name. The remarkable casket, 
containing relics of the Buddha, found at Peshawar 
in 1908, bears an inscription to the effect that 
it is the work of " Agesilaus, overseer of works 
at Kanishka's vihdra." In itself, this curious 
reliquary is of little merit. It is shaped like a Greek 
lady's jewel-casket, and the figures are roughly and 
clumsily executed 3 . About the fourth century A.D., 
the Kushan power waned and disappeared. The 

1 Ibid. xxvi. 1. 

2 This, however, is not Marshall's view, as we have already 
stated. 

3 Marshall in J.R.A.S. 1909, p. 1060 ff. 



1 66 Effects of the Intercourse between 

sceptre now returned to the great indigenous 
dynasty of the Guptas. Under the Gupta monarchs, 
a splendid literary and artistic renaissance set in, 
strongly nationalistic in character, and except 
perhaps in some coin-issues, Greco-Roman influence 
entirely disappears. The rise of the Sassanian 
Empire also placed a barrier which cut off all direct 
communication between Roman Asia and the East. 
Intercourse between the Roman world and the East 
was now almost entirely confined to the great 
port of Alexandria, to which Indians flocked in 
ever-increasing numbers. The Roman traders who 
resorted to Southern India at this time, and even 
settled at Madura and other places, came for 
mercantile purposes only, and had apparently no 
effect whatever upon literature or art. 

Having thus summarized in general terms the 
nature of the intercourse between India and the 
Greco-Roman world, we must seek more specifi- 
cally its results. As regards Indian art, we may 
at once say that in the matter of coinage, Indians 
learnt everything from the West. Coinage never 
appealed to the Hindu craftsman very strongly, 
though very occasionally, — as in the case of the 
life-like portraits of Kanishka, and the beautiful 
and graceful types of the versatile Samudra Gupta \ 
— a fine result is achieved. The Indians were 
usually content either to imitate foreign coins, 
generally the Roman aureus, or to restrike them. 
In the south of India they took the simpler course 
1 J.R.A.S. 1889, PL 1. 4 and 5. 



India and the IVest 167 

of importing Roman specie wholesale 1 . Not much 
can be said for the purely native coins of the 
Andhras, Chalukyas or Pandyas. 

Besides the Kushans, the Saka, Indo-Parthian 
and the Kshaharata princes issued coins which 
are more or less a compromise between Greco- 
Roman and Oriental ideas. Those of Nahapana 
are a clever imitation of the Greek style applied 
to realistic portraiture 2 . Before Alexander, punch- 
marked coins were alone issued in India, though 
Persian and Athenian coins were in circulation in 
the satrapy of the Panjab 3 . 

As regards art, we must obviously look to 
Gandhara for the chief source of Greco-Roman 
influence upon India. These sculptures, as we have 
already seen, were probably the work of craftsmen 
imported from Syria. These craftsmen were not, 
of course, artists of a high order. None of their 
productions shews any inspiration or any out- 
standing merit, and Syrian art at the time was 
decadent. It appears likely that these artists 
settled in the Panjab, as their productions, purely 
Greek at first, become, as time goes on, more and 
more deeply tinged with Indian influence. The 
latest work of the Gandhara school is a compromise 
between Greek and early Buddhist art. It has 

1 The names of the chief coins have passed into Indian 
vernaculars. Dranima (mod. dam), is hpax^yj. Dinar a is 
denarius. Statira is stater. 

2 Barnett, Antiq. of India, v. 2. 

3 Rapson, Indian Coins, in Grundriss, §§ 7-9. 



1 68 Effects of the Intercourse between 

been the fashion of late to abuse the Gandhara 
sculptures roundly. This is not altogether fair. 
They possess, of course, nothing like the beauty or 
vigour of the graceful and powerful work of the 
Gupta period, but many of them are by no means 
devoid of charm and interest. They are a lively 
commentary on the life of Gautama and the Jdtaka 
legends. The Gandhara sculptors were the first to 
portray the Master as a human being. The earlier 
Buddhist sculptors, with puritanical abhorrence of 
idolatry, merely indicate his presence by symbols 
such as footmarks (pdduka), the wheel, or the 
umbrella. The conventional figure of the Master 
in modern Hmayana Buddhism of to-day, shews 
in the halo, the arrangement of the drapery, and 
the treatment of the hair, traces of borrowing from 
Gandhara. The Corinthian pillars which appear 
on some of the friezes, with the figures placed 
among the foliage of the capital, and finished with 
stucco, resemble Roman work of the third century \ 
These pillars are ornamental, of course, not struc- 
tural. Kanishka's buildings were, no doubt, 
purely Indian in type, but being made principally 
of wood and brick, in Indian fashion, they have 
almost entirely vanished. There is no reason to 
suppose that India was in any way influenced by 
Greek architecture. By 400 a.d., if not earlier, 
the Gandhara school appears to have been com- 
pletely extinct. 

1 This degraded workmanship first appears in the Baths 
of Caracalla (217 a.d.). 



India and the West 169 

We now turn to Indian literature. A claim 
has been made x that Indian drama, if not Indian 
philosophy, owes a great deal to the drama of 
Greece. Many curious resemblances between the 
two have been pointed out. The vidushaka and 
the vita, have been compared to the Parasite and 
the Pimp of the New Attic Comedy. The Natya 
Sdstra of Bharata lays down as one of the canons 
of the drama that the number of persons appearing 
upon the stage should be limited to five. Indian 
like Greek drama, avoids the portrayal of violent 
or unseemly actions. The " Greek curtain " 
(Yavanika) was used, and Yavani, Greek girls, 
appear as the attendants upon royal persons. At 
Ramgarh, a small Greek amphitheatre has been 
unearthed 2 . The Toy Cart z is compared by 
critics to plays of the type of the New Attic 
Comedy. Again, the passage of Chrysostom is 
quoted, wherein he states that " it is said that 
the poetry of Homer is sung by the Indians, who 
had translated it into their own language and 
modes of expression, so that even these Indians 
are not unacquainted with the woes of Priam 

1 Chiefly by Weber (Sansk. Lit. p. 224, etc.), Windisch 
(Greek Influence on Indian Drama), and Von Schroder (Indiens 
Lit. und Cultur). The opposite view is held by Sylvain Levi 
(Theatre Indien), and Rapson (Art. Drama, in Hastings' 
Diet. Religion and Ethics). For a complete bibliography 
see Macdonell, History of Sanskrit Literature, Bibliographical 
note to Ch. xvi. 

2 Bloch, Annual Report, Arch. Surv. Ind. 1903-4, p. 123 ff. 

3 Mricchakatikd. 



1 70 Effects of the Intercourse between 

and the weeping and wailing of Andromache and 
Hecuba, and the heroic feats of Achilles and Hector, 
so potent was the influence of what one man 
had sung 1 ." Plutarch attributes to Alexander's 
invasion the fact that the Gedrosian read Homer, 
Euripides and Sophokles. A similar statement is 
made by Aelian 2 . 

But here, as in the case of Greek and Indian 
philosophy, the resemblances are not so close as 
they appear to be at first sight. On the whole, 
the Indian drama, with its neglect of the unities, 
its mixture of prose and verse, comedy and tragedy, 
resembles the severe Greek tragedy as little as 
a florid Indian temple resembles the Parthenon. 
The " Greek curtain " is certainly not borrowed 
from the Greek stage, for there the curtain was 
not used 3 . The presence of Greek girls as royal 
attendants shews they were commonly found in 
Rajas' harems 4 , but this has no bearing upon 
the question of Hellenic influence on the drama. 
The supposed resemblances are really confined to 
a single play, the Toy Cart ; they are not dis- 
cernible in the other dramas of Kalidasa and 
Bhavabhuti. This seems to shew that the sup- 
posed Greek influence in the Indian drama, if it 
exists at all, is due to the Hellenic element in 

1 Orations, liii. 554. 2 V.H. xn. 48. 

3 It is a curtain made of Greek stuff in all probability, — 
nothing more. 

4 They are mentioned among the imports of Barygaza, 

(EvetScts irapdivoi is 7raAAa/ctai/, PeripluS, 49). See p. II7. 



India and the West 171 

North-Western and Western India in the first two 
centuries after Christ, rather than to the later 
contact with Alexandria. This appears to be 
the most plausible theory, if we suppose the Toy 
Cart to be an early play. But was Greek ever 
talked sufficiently in the Pan jab to make a Greek 
drama intelligible to an Indian, or semi-Indian 
audience ? The point seems very doubtful. The 
Greek on the coins, — except in the case of the 
Baktrian kings, — is so corrupt that we are almost 
forced to conclude that if spoken at all, it was 
a barbarous jargon, bearing only the remotest 
resemblance to classical Greek. It may, indeed, 
have been a dead language, only surviving on the 
coins along with other traces of imitation from 
foreign models \ Menander and his courtiers may 
have enjoyed a Greek comedy at Sagala. It 
is highly improbable that Kanishka ever did. 
Chrysostom certainly asserts that this was the case. 
His accounts of India in other Orations are, how- 
ever, mere poetical fables. He knew little about 
India. Is his story about the knowledge of Homer 
in India merely the result of some vague account, 
communicated to him by an Indian in Alexandria, 

1 Not a single Greek inscription has been unearthed. 
Even Greeks use Prakrit. This is significant enough. On the 
other hand, Sir J. H. Marshall found at Peshawar a piece of 
Gandhara pottery representing a scene which he considers to 
be unmistakably from the Antigone. He thinks this is evidence 
for the acting of Greek plays in the Panjab. J.R.A.S. 1909; 
pp. 1060-1. 



172 Effects of the Intercourse between 

of the Rdmdyana or Mahdbhdrata 1 , some episodes 
of which resemble the Iliad to a certain degree ? 
The assertion that an author as late as Kalidasa 
had read not only Menander but Plautus seems to 
be absolutely unwarranted 2 . If the Indian drama 
was actually affected by Hellenistic influences in 
the Baktrian or Kushan period, we may trace to 
the same time the supposed debt of Indian to 
Greek medicine. Charaka, said to have been the 
court physician of Kanishka, prescribes rules for 
the Indian doctor which resemble very minutely 
the oath which the Greek physician, according 
to Hippokrates, had to take upon entering on his 
duties. The Indian theory of the three humours 
has been also traced to Greek sources 3 . 

It is, however, in one respect only that we can 
definitely ascribe any real debt on the part of 
India to Greece. This is in the science of astro- 
nomy 4 . The Indians frankly acknowledged their 

1 The Mahdbhdrata, the present recension of which is 
about 300 a.d., contains some Greek words, e.g. saptantri 

Vind (e7TTaTOvos <j>6ppu-y£) III. I34. 14 ; trikona (rpiycDVOs) XIV. 

88. 32; barbardn (fidpftapos) m. 51. 23. Greeks are mentioned 
11. 14. 4, III. 254. 18, xil. 207. 43. Romans are mentioned 
11. 51. 17. Greeks are called sarvajnd vin. 45. 36, probably 
for their proficiency in astronomy. 

2 V. A. Smith, Graeco-Roman Influence on the Civilization 
of Ancient India (J.R.A.S. 1889). 

3 Hoernle, Ancient Indian Medicine (J.R.A.S. 1908, 
p. 997, 1909, p. 857 ff.). 

4 Kaye, in J.R.A.S. 1910, p. 759. Von Schroder, Indiens 
Lit. und Cultur. Barnett, Antiquities of India, Ch. vi. Weber, 
Ind. Lit. p. 247. Fleet attributes to this period the week of 



India and the West 173 

indebtedness to Greek science in this respect : 
" The Yavanas are barbarians/' writes the author 
of the Gargi Samhitd, " yet the science of astronomy 
originated with them, and for this they must be 
reverenced like gods." There are five Siddhdntas, 
or Treatises, on astronomy, in medieval Sanskrit 
literature, — the Paitdmaha, the Vdsishtha, the 
Suryya, the Paulisa and the Romaka. These 
frequently mention " Romaka " as a " famous 
city," and Romaka is also alluded to several times 
in the Brihat Samhitd and Pancha Siddhdntikd of 
Varahamihira 1 . This Romaka must be Alexandria, 
of course. The Paulisa Siddhdnta is based on 
the astronomical works of Paul of Alexandria 
{circa 378 a.d.). And Rome had ceased to exist 
as a centre of culture by the time of Varahamihira 
(d. 587 a.d.). Further evidence may be found, 
if needed, in the fact that these writers all use 
the Greek names for the planets and the signs 
of the Zodiac instead of their regular Sanskrit 
appellations. Thus we have Kriya (Kpuos, Aries), 
Tdvuri (Tavpos), jituma (AtSu/xo?), Pdthona (Uap- 
divos) ; Ay a (Aprjs), Heli (HXios), Asphiyit 
(A^poSiTTj), Himna (Ep/jirjs), and so on. Similarly 

seven days, corresponding to the modern week in names of 
the days. This seems to me doubtful, the names of the days 
of the week only appearing very late indeed in Roman and 
Greek literature. 

1 e.g. Romakdkhyd prakirtitd in the Suryya Siddhdnta, 
passim. In the Gargi Samhitd Alexandria is called Yavana- 
pura and is taken as the meridian instead of Ujjain. 



1 74 Effects of the Intercourse between 

technical terms like trikona {rpiyaivos), and 
jamitra (Sia^er/w), are freely employed 1 . The 
latter word occurs in Kalidasa 2 , a contemporary 
of Varahamihira. Varahamihira also wrote a 
treatise on the Hora Jnana or doctrine of Lunar 
Mansions. The term is no doubt borrowed from 
the Greek a>pa (Latin domus) used in this sense 
by Firmicus Maternus 335 a.d. 3 On the other 
hand Europe borrowed, through the Arabs, a 
certain number of Sanskrit astronomical terms 
e.g. aux y apex, the Sanskrit uchcha. The Indian 
numerals, far less clumsy than the Greek and 
Roman ones, were also borrowed in the same way. 
We now turn to the difficult and complicated 
question of Indian influence on the West. As we 
have already seen in the preceding chapters, this 
begins about the third century a.d., and was pro- 
bably chiefly felt in Alexandria. Clement (d. 220 
A.D.), is the first writer to shew any real knowledge 
of Eastern philosophy, in addition to the com- 
monplaces repeated by successive writers since the 
time of Megasthenes. Porphyry, writing about 
260 a.d., repeats more interesting details from the 
lost work of Bardesanes. Indians at the time 
were in the habit of visiting Alexandria and there 
seems little doubt that the Indian knowledge 
of Alexandrian astronomy was due to some of 

1 Von Schroder, Indiens Lit. und Cultur, p. 726. 

2 Kumdrasambhava, vn. 1. 

3 See Jacobi's pamphlet De Horcz Originibus (Bonn, 
1872). 



India and the IVest 175 

these visitors to the great centre of Greek learning. 
It certainly appears probable that Neo-platonism 
was affected by Oriental philosophy, though it 
is difficult to distinguish its borrowings from 
Pythagoreanism and Buddhism respectively. But 
perhaps the coincidences between Pythagorean 
and Buddhist beliefs lent them enhanced credence. 
Thus the tract ITepl aTToyr\<$ tcov e/xi/w^w con- 
tains the famous description (already quoted) 
of a Buddhist monastery. Hence we may suppose 
that the doctrines it inculcates, — abstinence from 
flesh, subjection of the body by asceticism, 
and so on, — are derived from Oriental sources. 
In the case of the earlier Greek philosophers, we 
were driven to conclude that the resemblances 
between their tenets and those of the Indian 
sages were coincidences, because the evidence for 
intercourse was entirely lacking. In this case 
the links in the chain are supplied. In one point, 
we find a resemblance between Neo-platonic and 
Indian teaching, absent in Pythagoreanism. The 
Neo-platonist strives by meditation to free his 
soul from the body, and to attain union with the 
Supreme. This is the Yoga doctrine of Patafijali. 
Pythagoras, while teaching rebirth, " remem- 
brance " (cu/a/iz/r/cris), and abstention from flesh, 
says nothing about the end or aim — Mukti or 
Emancipation, which is the cardinal Hindu doc- 
trine. 

Did Christianity owe anything to Hindu and 
Buddhist thought ? Many rash statements, which 



1 76 Effects of the Intercourse between 

prove, on minute investigation, to be based on 
coincidences more or less remote, have been made 
upon this subject 1 . Thus the doctrine of the 
Logos, introduced into Christianity from Philo, 
superficially resembles the personification of Vdch 
' Speech ' as a goddess in the Rig Veda 2 . But 
there is no Vdch doctrine, Vdch being merely an 
unimportant abstraction. And moreover Philo 
borrowed his Logos doctrine from Heraklitus and not 
from the East at all. The immense popularity of 
asceticism, on the other hand, and the extravagant 
forms it assumed in the Thebaid, may very well 
be traced to the stories of the Hylobioi and Sram- 
anaioi which are so prominent in patristic literature. 
The first of the great hermits was Paul of Alex- 
andria, who fled to the Egyptian desert in 251 a.d. 
to escape the Decian persecution. His famous 
follower St Anthony died in 356 a.d. This is just 
the time when Indian influence in Alexandrian 
literature is most in evidence. Of course, monas- 
ticism was also practised among the Jews, — the 
Essenes of the Dead Sea and the Therapeutae in 
Egypt belong to the first century B.C. One 
cannot help wondering whether relic-worship (men- 
tioned as we have seen by Clement as a Buddhist 
practice) and the use of the rosary, are not both 
Eastern survivals. 

Of semi-Christian sects and heresies, and their 

1 To see how far wild speculation can take the untrained 
thinker, read Lillie, India in Primitive Christianity (1909). 

2 x. 125. 



India and the West 177 

debt to the East, we have already spoken 1 . 
Manicheism is a strange farrago of Christian, 
Jewish, Persian, and Buddhistic ideas. Gnosticism, 
a far more serious and noble creed, together with 
its later offshoots, shews traces of both Hindu and 
Zarathustrian influence. Its doctrine of the plu- 
rality of Heavens is essentially Indian : its " three 
qualities " {irvevixaTLKoiy xjjvx^kol, vXlkol) resemble 
the :t three gunas " of the Sankhya system. 
Origen's heretical belief in Metempsychosis must 
not be overlooked. 

A great deal has been made, by Weber and 
others, of the supposed resemblances between the 
Krishna legend and the Gospel story 2 . Nanda, 
the foster-father of Krishna, goes up to Mathura 
to pay his taxes (kara) to Kamsa; Krishna is 
born in a cow-shed (gokula) ; the wicked Kamsa, 
in order to slay him, massacres the infants of 
Mathura ; Krishna raises the son of a widow from 
the dead; Kubja anoints him with precious 
ointment, and so forth. But these parallels (with 
the possible exception of the "Massacre of the 
Innocents") are vague and unsatisfactory, in spite 

1 Nestorianism, however, became the actual Christian 
church of India, though Nestorianism has no peculiarly 
Oriental affinities. 

2 See the Vishnu Pur ana, trans. Wilson, p. 503 ff. for the 
birth and childhood of Krishna. The raising of the widow's 
son only occurs in the late Jaimini Bharata. The Vallabhas 
of Gujarat worship the Infant Krishna and his Mother. 
Much has been made of this curious coincidence, e.g. by 
Kennedy in J.R.A.S. 1907. 

R. 1. 12 



1 78 Effects of the Intercourse between 

of the vast amount of ingenuity which has been 
expended on them. Still less convincing are the 
parallels between the Gospels and the Bhagavad 
Gtta, collected with such industry by Lorinser 1 . 
In the same way, Weber takes the incident in 
the Mahabharata of the visit of Narada and other 
Sages to the mysterious island of Svetadvlfia or 
White Island, to be a poetical account of an actual 
visit on the part of some Indian travellers to 
Alexandria or Persia or some other Christian 
country. The description of the White Island is 
purely imaginary, and there is no reason to suppose 
that any reference to Christianity is intended in 
the remotest fashion 2 . Even less satisfactory are 
the supposed parallels between the life of Gautama 
and that of Christ. It is, however, probable that 
the striking resemblances which Lamaist ritual of 
to-day bears to Catholic ceremonies may be due 
to the influence of the Christian Church in Persia. 
These resemblances seem to be something more 
than coincidence. They startled the Abbe Hue 
when he visited Lhassa in 1842. "The crozier, 
the mitre, the chasuble, the cardinal's robe, . . . the 
double choir at the Divine Ofhce, the chants, the 

1 Die Bhagavad Gita, Breslau, 1869. Trans, in Indian 
Antiquary, 1873, p. 283. An able refutation is given in the 
introduction to Telang's translation of the Gita in the Sacred 
Books of the East. 

2 The passage is in Mahdbharata, xn. 12. 702. Weber's 
views are in his Indische Studien, 1. 400. See P. C. Ray's 
translation (Calcutta, 1891), vin. 752. 



India and the West 179 

exorcism, the censer with five chains, the blessing 
which the Llamas impart by extending the right 
hand over the heads of the faithful, the rosary, 
the celibacy of the clergy, their separation from 
the world, the worship of saints, the fasts, pro- 
cessions, litanies, holy water, — these are the points 
of contact which the Buddhists have with us 1 ." 

A few brief words on the remaining question 
of the influence of India upon Western litera- 
ture must be added in conclusion. Here, again, 
we must beware of unwarranted assumptions, 
based upon coincidence. There is, however, good 
evidence for the steady migration of folk-tales 
from East to West, from the time of the Jataka 
stories. Many Eastern legends have found their 
way into Europe, and may be found in the Gesta 
Romanorum, the Decameron, and other medieval 
collections. This was very largely due to the 
Arabs of Damascus, who translated much Sanskrit 
literature and transmitted it in this way to Europe. 
A typical instance are the famous fables of Bidpai or 
Pilpay 2 . They were translated from the Sanskrit 
Pancha T antra into Persian by Barzuyeh,in the time 
of Nushirvan, King of Persia. From Persian they 
were turned into Arabic by Abdalla ibn Mokaffa, 
at the court of Ibn Jafar Almansur at Bagdad. 
About the same time, at the neighbouring court 

1 Hue et Gabet, Voyages, 1. 29. 

2 Benfey, Pancha Tantra, Introduction (1859) > Bidpai, 
ed. Keith Falconer (1885), Introduction; Sayce, Science of 
Language (1883), Ch. ix. 

12 — 2 



180 India and the West 

of Damascus, St John of Damascus also wrote 
Barlaam and Josaphat, which, as we have seen, 
contains numerous Buddhist stories and apologues. 
Thus the well-known story of the Three Caskets 
found its way into the Merchant of Venice. Thus, 
too, Chaucer was enabled to embody in his 
Pardoner's Tale, a Buddhist parable taken from 
the Vedabbha Jataka 1 . On the whole subject, 
however, the words of a recent writer are worth 
remembering: "All these parallels prove nothing. 
In the first place, a large number of them can be 
considered parallels only by straining the sense 
of the term : and in the second place, they are 
the results of obviously independent though par- 
tially similar processes in the development of 
Greek and Sanskrit literature, and should be 
treated accordingly 2 . ' ' 

1 Skeat's Oxford Chaucer (1904), III. 443. Clouston, 
Originals and Analogues, Chaucer Society, 417. 

2 L. H. Gray in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 
vi. 4. See also Tawney, Journal of Philology, xn. 121. 
F. Lacote, Essai sur Gunadhya et le Brihatkatha, Paris, 1908. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

(The following list does not pretend to be exhaustive, and 
editions are not specified. It contains, however, the principal 
works consulted in the preparation of the preceding pages, 
and may serve as a guide to the chief sources from which 
further information may be obtained.) 

I. Ancient Authors. Arrian, ed. Kriiger. Bohn, 
Standard Library (translations of the principal classical 
authors). Herodotus, ed. and trans. Rawlinson. 
McCrindle, J. W., The Indika of Megasthenes and 
Arrian : Commerce and Navigation of the Erythrean Sea : 
Ptolemy's Geography of India : The Invasion of India by 
Alexander the Great (Arrian, Q. Curtius, Diodorus, 
Plutarch, Justin) : Ancient India (Herodotus, Strabo, 
Pliny, and later authors). Miiller, C, Geogt -aphid 
Graeci Minor es. Periplus Maris Erythraei, ed. Fabricius : 
ditto trans. Schoff. Pliny, ed. Mayhoff. Ptolemy, 
ed. Miiller and Fischer. Strabo, ed. Meineke. 

II. Indian History, Geography, and Commerce. 
Bhandarkar, R. G., Early History of the Deccan. 
Barnett, Antiquities of India. Beazley, C. R., Dawn 
of Modern Geography. Buhler, Indian Studies (1895). 
Bunbury, Ancient Geography. Burgess, Elephanta. 
Cunningham, Sir A. Ancient Geography of India: 
Archaeological Survey of India. Dittenberger, Inscrip- 
tionum Graecarum Sylloge. Duff, M., Chronology of 
India. Dutt, U. C, Materia Medica of the Hindus. 
Hirth, China and the Roman Orient. Hoernle, R., 
Ancient Indian Medicine (J.R.A.S. 1898). Kennedy, J., 
Early Commerce of India with Babylon (J.R.A.S. 1898). 
Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde. Levi, S., La Grece 
et L'Inde d'apres les documents indiens (Revue des etudes 
Grecques, 1891). Mukerji, R., Indian Shipping. Oppert, 
Gustav, Ancient Commerce of India. Priaulx, Indian 



1 82 Bibliography 

Travellers (J.R.A.S. 1861-2). Rawlinson, H. G., Baktria. 
Saint-Martin, V. de, Etude sur la Geographie Grecque. 
Smith, V. A., Early History of India. Stein, Aurel, 
Ancient Geography of Kashmir: Sand Buried Cities of 
Khotan. Tennant, E., Ceylon. Vincent, Commerce 
and Navigation of the Ancients. Yule, Marco Polo: 
Cathay and the Way Thither. Watt, Commercial Products 
of India. Wilson, H. H., Ariana Antiqua. 

III. Indian Literature, Religion, and Art. Bohlen, 
Altes Indien. Bournouf, Sciences des Religions. 
D'Alviella, Ce que I'lnde doit a la Grece. Droysen, 
Hellenismus. Goldstucker, Panini, His Place in Sanskrit 
Literature. Foucher, V Art du Gandhara. Hopkins, H., 
India, Old and New: Religions of India: Great Epic 
of India. Jacobs, J., Barlaam and Josaphat. Keith, 
Pythagoras and Transmigration (J.R.A.S. 1909). Ken- 
nedy, J., The Child Krishna, Christ, and the Gujars 
(J.R.A.S. 1907). Leitner, Greek Influence on India 
(Oriental Congress, 1880). Levi, S., Theatre Indien. 
Lorinser, Der Bhagavad Gita. Macdonell, Vedic 
Index: History of Sanskrit Literature. Oldenburg, 
Ancient India. Rapson, Ancient India. Smith, V. A., 
Graeco-Roman Influence on Ancient Indian Civilization: 
History of Fine Art in India and Ceylon. Tarn, Hellenism 
in Bactria (J.H.S. 1902). Telang, Bhagavad Gtta (S.B.E. 
viii.). Weber, Indian Literature: Indische Skizzen: 
Die Griechen in Indien, etc. Windisch, Greek Influence on 
Indian Drama. (Fifth Oriental Congress, Berlin, 1882.) 

IV. Numismatics. Gardner, Catalogue of the Coins of 
Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India in the British 
Museum. Rapson, Indian Coins : Coins of the Andhras. 
Sewell, Roman Coins found in India (J.R.A.S. 1904). 
Smith, V. A., Catalogue of Coins in the Indian Museum, 
Calcutta. Stein, Aurel, Zoroastrian Deities on Indo- 
Scythian Coins. Thurston, Catalogue of Coins in the 
Madras Museum* 



INDEX 

[The letters ff. after an entry imply that references to the same 
subject occur on at least two immediately succeeding pages.] 



Abdalla ibn Mokaffa 179 

Abhira 1 1 

Abyssinia (Itiopyavan) 19, 92 

acacia tree 126 

Achilles 140, 170 

Actium 1 01 

Adad-Nirari IV. 8 

Aden 1, 2, 10, 17, 94, 112 

Aditya 139 

Adulis (= Massowa) 91, 92 

Aegidii ( PAngidiva or Goa) 119 

Aelana (= Ezion Geber, q.v.) 90 

Aelian 49, 107, 170 

Aelius Gallus 104 

Aemilianus 154 

Afghanistan 69, 163 

Africa 14, 19, 98, 99 

African baobab, the 14 

Agatharchides 94, 113 

Agathokleia 86 

Agathokles 76, 86 

Agesilaus 165 

aghil (ahal) 14 

Agnimitra 81 

Airrhadii 133 

Ajanta 9, 146 

Akaba {also called Aelana and 

Ezion Geber) 10 
Akasa (ether) 61 
Akesines, R. 34, 78 
Akkad 16 

Akkadian tongue, the 2 
Alaric 102, 151 
Alasanda, island of 78 
Alexander the Great 16, 19, 24, 

29, 33 ff- 59, 38 ff., 117, 155, 

159, 160, 167 
Alexander, a trader 132 
Alexander Severus 154 
Alexandria 15, 69, 88 ff., 95 ff., 

106, in, 130, 137, 138, 140, 

141, 171, 173, 174, 178 



Alexandria-on-Indus (Alasanda of 
the Yonas) (= Ucch) 34, 38, 72 
almug trees (valgu) II 
Amritsar district 59 
'A/xvKTripes 65 
Amyntas 86 

Anahid (=Anaitis) 23, 70, 72, 164 
Andhra princes 84, 167 
Andromache 140, 170 
Angidiva 119 
Angrammes (and see Xandrames) 

33 
Angria 112 
Annam 130 
Annius Plocamus 106, ill, 113, 

15°, 152 
Anthropophagi 26, 27 
Antialkidas 77, 86, 162 
Antigonus 38 
Antimachus 74, 76, 86 
Antioch 1, 9, 108, 130 
Antiochus I (Soter) 93, 100; 

II (Theos) 100; III {Megas) 

70, 74, 92, 100; IV (Epiphanes) 

48, 100; V (Eupafor) 100 
Antipodes of Ktesias, the 27 
'AvTLirodes ( = 'On icrdo5dKTv\oi) 66 
Antonines, the 103 
Antoninus Pius 153 
Antonius, king of Syria 130 
Antun 130 
Anupshahr 42 
Anuradhapura 149, 152 
Apamea 128 
Apollo Bunder (Pdlvd Bandar) 

119 
Apollodorus of Artemita 78 
Apollodotus II 72, 73, 76, 77, 86, 

116 
Apollonius of Tyana 146 
Apollophanes 86 
Apologus 113 



1 84 



Index 



Arabia 9 

Arabia Felix (= Aden, q.v.) 10, 

94, 104, 129 
Arabs 179, 180 
Arachosia 38, 40 
Aragante 19 
Arakan, R. 133 
Aranyavaha 119 
Arcadius 151, 154 
Archebius 86 
Archelaus of Carrha 142 
Arch. Survey of India (1903-4) 

169; (1912-13) 6 
Arddhanarishvara 146 
Ariake 112 
Ariana 7 1 

arisi {aruz and opvfa) 14 
Aristobulus 105 
Aristotle, Hist. Anim. 31, 116 
Armenia 104 
Armourers 53 
Arrian, Exped. Alex. 34, 35; 

Indika 44, 49, 105 
Arsakes 87 
Arsinoe (Suez) 17, 89 
Artabanus 75 
Artaxerxes Mnemon 26 
Artemidorus 86 
Artha Sastra 62, 67, 68 
Arthur, king 159 
Artizans 53 
Aryans 2, 27, 31 
Asia 19, 20, 161 
Asia Minor 159 
Asoka 28, 39, 44, 58 fL, 68, 70, 

79. 82, 162 
Asoka's Edicts 60,62,63 ; pillars 64 
Asopus 27 
Assam 27 
Assurbanipal 2 
Assyria 15 
Assyrians 14, 16 
Assyrian sculptures 31 

"A<TT0fJ.0l 66 

Asura Maya (= Ahura Mazda) 68 
Asvamedha 81 
Asvins, the (Ndsatyd) 2 
Atharva Veda, 15 
Athenaeus 48, 93 
Athene 76 
Athenodorus 129 
Athens 88, 108 
Augustus 101, 103 ff.. 153 
Aulus Gellius, Noct. Att. 29 
Auranoboas {or Tyrannoboas) 
(? Aranyavaha or Malvan) 119 



Aurelian 154 

aureus, Roman 150, 164, 166 

Avidius Cassius 128 

Ayodhya 43 

Azes (I and II) 83.. 86 

Azilises 86 

Bab-el-Mandeb 94 

Babel 16 

Bdberu (Babylon) 4 

Babylon 1, 3, 4, 7, 12, 14 ff., 36, 

155 
Babylon, plague at 129 
Babylonian marshes 6 
Bacchus 60, 62 
Bagdad 179 
Bahrein Islands 6 
Baktra ( = Bakhtri = Bakhdhi = 

Balkh) 1, 2, 9, 16, 69, 88, 115, 

160 
Baktria 2S, 83 ff. ? ic8 148 
Baktrian architecture 162 
Baktrian Greeks 161 ff. 
Baktrian kings 171 
Balasri 85 
Balkh, see Baktra 
Balsamodendron 125 126 
Baluchistan 83. 126 
Bankot 119 
baobab tree 14 
Barabar, caves at 68 
Barake III, 120 
Barbarikon 35, 114, 124, 125 
Bardesanes 142, 145, 174 
Barhut 165 
Barlaam and Josaphat (see St 

John of Damascus) 142 
Barnett, L. D. 87; Antiquities of 

India 15, 61, 167, 172 
Barygaza 3, 47,95, 107, 108, 112, 

113, 116, 124, 126, 131, 136, 

170 
Barzuyeh 179 
Bassein 133 
Baths of Caracalla 168 
bdellium 125 

Beal, S., Life of Hiuen Tsiang 143 
Beas, R. 42, 43 

Behistun Inscriptions, the 17, 29 
Benakataka 162 
Benfey, T., Indien 11; Pancha 

T antra 1 79 
Bengal 122; Bay of 132 
Berbera 92 

Berenike 90, 91, 99, 111 
Berosus 7 



Index 



185 



beryl {^pvXXos from vaidurya) 

101, 120 
Besatae 123 
Besnagar 162 
Besynga lor Basseiti) 133 
Bhagavad Gita 178 
Bharata, N city a Sdstra 169 
Bharukaccha 5 
Bhavabhuti 170 
Bhil races, the 22 
Bhotan 27, 65 
Bhoja, Narapati, Yuktikalpataru 

139 
Bhrighu-Kaccha 116 
Bhumaka 87, 118 
Bidpai {or Pilpay) 179 
Bindusara 39 
Birdwood, Sir G. 126 
Bisadae {Besatae) 147 
blackwood 114 
Bloch, Ann. Report, Arch. Surv. 

Ind. 169 
Boghazkoi, 3 
Bolan Pass, the 83 
Bolor Mts. 115 
Bombay 6,119; Prince of Wales 

Museum 6 
Bombay Gazetteer 162 
bos Lucas 13 
Brachmanae 142 
Brahma 141 
Brahmana (caste) 50 ff. 
Brahmins 50 ff., 60 ff., 141, 147, 

157, 160 
Brahminism 79 
Brdhmi-scvipt, the 14 
Brindisium 29 

Broach 14, 116, 117, 119, 120 
Buddha {see also Gautama) 11, 

32, 157, 165 
Buddha's tooth 149 
Buddhism 23, 39, 58, 62, 78, 108, 

138, 153, 157, 162, 168, 175 
Buddhism, Hinayana 168 
Buddhist architecture 28 
Buddhist art 167 
Buddhist ascetics 59 
Buddhist Canon, the 60 
Buddhist caves 85 
Buddhist monasteries 143, 165 
Buddhists 141 ff., 179 
Biihler, J. G., Origin of the Brahma 

Alphabet 4; Indian Studies 15 
Bukephala (Jihlam) 34 
Bunbury, Hist. Anc. Geog. 17, 69, 

92, 94, 128 



Bundelkhand 81 

Burgess, J. 164; Elephania 146 

Burnet, Early Greek Philosophy 

158 
Byzantium ( ? Vizadrcg) 119 

Cadiz 98 

Caldwell, R. 122; Dravidian 

Grammar 14 
Caligula 153 
Camboja, Cape 132, 133 
Cana no 
Canary Isles 99 
Caracalla 153 
Carinus 154 
Carus 154 

Caspian Gates, the 1, 9 
Caspian Sea 1, 9 
Catholic ceremonies 178 
Celts 159 
Ceylon 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 72, 93, 104, 

106, 109, in, 147 ff. 
Ceylon in the Classics 152 
Chaldaea 7 
Chaldaeans 6 
Chalukyas 167 
Champa 5, 132 
Chanakya 37, 38, 54 
Chandala {or Pariah) 58 
Chdndogya Upanishad 156 
Chandragupta (= Sandrakottus, 

q.v.) 37 ff., 49 ff., 67, 80, 91, 

161 
Charaka 172 
Charax 115 

Chares, of Mitylene 100 
Charibael {Kariba-Il) 113 
Charition 139 
Chastana 117 
Chaucer, Knight's Tale 69; Par- 

doner's Tale 180 
China 8, 9, 101, 13T, 148 ff. 
Chinese 66, 115, 116 
Chitor 80 
Chola Mandalam or Chola-coast 

(= Coroniandel) 122 
Choromandae 66 
Christianity 138, 175, 176 
Chronicles II 10, 13 
cinnamon 14, 30, 122, 125 
Civil Service 55, 56 
Claudius (41-54 a.d.) 106, 109, 

113, 153 
Claudius (268-270 a.d.) 154 
Clement 138, 141, 142, 174 
Cleopatra 97, 100 

12—5 



1 86 



Index 



Clouston, Originals and Analogues 
180 

Cochin 121 

Cochin lagoon, the in 

Code of Manu 138 

coins 72 ff., 77, 78, 83 ff., 103, 
150, 162, 164, 166, 167 

Commodus 153 

Constantine I 154 

Constantine II 154 

Constantinople 69, 88, 116, 152 

Constantius 154 

Coomaraswamy, A. K., Ar's and 
Crafts of India and Ceylon 9 

Corinthian pillars 168 

Coromandel 122 

Cos 115 

costus (kushtha = kui-lakdi) 114, 
124 

courtezans 67 

Cowell, E. B. 4 

Cranganore in, 120 

Cunningham, A. 33; Coins of An- 
cient India 18; Numismatic 
Chronicle 73 

Curtius, Quintus 33, 46 

Curzon, Lord, Persia 68 

Cyclops 66 

Cyrus the Great 27 

Cyzicus 96 

Dabhai 42 

Dafar 125 

Dakshindpatha (see Deccan) 118 

Damascus 128, 179, 180 

Damirike no, 120 

Dan 7 

Dandamis (Damadamis) 143 

Danube 66 

Dardistan 18, 24, 102 

Dards 66 

Darius 16 ff., 27, 32, 89, 155; 

Palace of, at Persepolis 68 
Darius (III) Codomannus 31 
Dasyus, the 27 
Dattamitra (Demetria) 162 
Daulatabad 119 
David, king of Judah 10 
Davids, Rhys 5 ; Buddhist Birth 

Stories 1 2 
De Abstinentia 143 
Decameron 179 
Deccan (Dakkhinabada), ddxavos 

(see Dakshindpatha) 118 
Deccan, North 84 
Decian persecution 176 



Decius 154 

Deimachus 39, 41 

Deipnosophistes 94 

De Lesseps 90 

Delhi 52 

Demetria (Arachosia) 72 

Demetria (Sind) 72 

Demetrius 72 ff., 78, 83, 85, 100, 
115, 162 

devas 145 

Devgad 119 

Dhaboi 119 

Dharma 29, 54, 80 

Dikairos 31 

Dinar a, denarius 167 

Dio Chrysostom 140 

Diocletian 154 

Diodorus Siculus 8 

Diodotus (I and II) 70, 85 

Diogenes 157 

Diomedes 77, 86 

Dion Cassius 107 

Dionysius 39, 41, 92, 95 

Dioskuri 74, 77 

Dittenberger, W., Orientis Graeci 
Inscriptiones Selectae 92, 95 

Doab, the 44 

Domitian 153 

Dosarene (Darsana) 123 

double-daric of Darius Codoman- 
nus 31 

drachma 59, 150 

dramma (mod. dam), SpaxA"? 167 

Dravidians 19 

drugs 102, 120, 124 

"dumb Mlecchas" 47, 121 

Duncker, M., Gesch. des Alt. 22 

Dushyanta Raja 47 

Dutt, U. C, Materia Medica of the 
Hindus 126 

Eagle (katreus) 108 

ebony 113 

Edfu, ruins at 99 

Edom 10 

Egypt 2, 9, 95, 101, 158, 161 

Egyptians 158 

Ekbatana 48, 115, 128 

Elagabalus, Emperor 143 

Elath 10 

Eleazar 113 

eleph, ox 13 

e\e<f>avT- (root) 1 3 

Elephanta 146 

Elephants 49, 52, 55, 91, 93 

Eleusinian mysteries 146 



Index 



i8 7 



Elysium of Yama, the 156 

Emetreus 69 

Emperors of the East 154 

Encyclopaedia Britannica 15, 126 

Ency. of Religion and Ethics 180 

'EuuTOKoirai. (— karnaprdvarana) 65 

Epander 86 

Eratosthenes 40, 92, 93, 95, 105 

Ersch and Gniber's Encyclopaedia 

11 
Essenes, the 176 
"Etesian" winds 109 
Ethiopia 149; palace of 151 
Ethiopians 18, 19 
Eudaemon (= Aden, q.v.) 94 
Eudamus 36, 71 
Eudoxus 18, 96 ff., 100, 138 
Euergetes II 97, 100 
Eukratides 72 ff., 83, 85 
Eumenes 36 
Euphrates, R. 1, 2, 42, 113, 127, 

129 
Euripides 170 
Eusebius 141 
Euthydemeia 70 
Euthydemus 1 70 ff., 76, 77, 85 
Euthydemus II 86 
Euxine, the 1, 9 
Ezekiel 6, 20 
Ezion Geber( = Aelana, q.v.) 10,90 

Fabulous races 65, 66 

Fa-Hian 58, 60 

fakirs 60 

Falconer, Keith, Bidpai 179 

Fausboll 25 

Firmicus Maternus 174 

Fleet, Dr J. F. 87, 172 

Flood, the 15 

frankincense 113, 124 

Galba 153 

Gallienus 154 

Gallus 154 

Gandarii, the 19 

Gandhara 16, 17, 28, 32, 42, 77, 

165, 167 
Gandhara pottery 171 
Gandhara sculptures 84,163,167, 

168 
Ganges 30, 38, 41 ff., 53, 64, 78, 

105, 122, 123, 126, 131 ff., 161 
Gangetic Gulf, the 132 
Ganjam, R. 132 
Garbha-Rakshana 61 
Gardafui, Cape* 97, no 



Gardner, P., Cat. of Greek and 

Indo-Scythic Coins in B.M. 72, 

76 ff., 85, 164 
Gdrgi Samhitd 81 , 173 
Garuda pillar 162 
Garuda, the vulture of Vishnu 65 
Gautama (see also Buddha) 22, 

23, 58, 59, 82, 142, 157, 178 
Gaza 128, 129 
Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency 

126 
Gedrosia 38 
gems 114 
Genesis n 

Geography of Ravenna 120 
Yecopyoi (Husbandmen) 51 
Gerrha, 6 

Gesta Romanovum 179 
Gibbon, E., Decline and Fall of 

the Roman Empire 102 
Gibraltar 98 

Glaser, Skizze der Geog. Arab, n 
Gnosticism 138, 177 
Goa 119 
Golden Chersonese, the 5, n, 43, 

120, 133 
Goldstiicker, T., Pdnini, his place 

in Sanskrit Literature 32 
Gollas 148 
Gondophares 83, 87 
Gordians, the 154 
Goths 151, 155 
Gray, L. H. 180 
Greece 13 

Greek amphitheatre 169 
"Greek curtain" 169, 170 
Greek drama 169 
Greek sculptors 165 
Greek kings of Baktria, Sagala, 

and the Panjab 69 ff., 85, 86 
Greeks 82, 83 
Gregory XIII 142 
Grenfell and Hunt, Oxyrhynchus 

Papyri 1 39 
Grihya Sutras 61 
Grundriss der Ind.-Ar. Philologie 

3i 
Gujarat (Ariake) 118, 139 
Gulliver's Travels 30 
Gupta monarchs 166; period 168 
Gymnosophists 142 

Hadrian 153 
Halikarnassus 21 
Hamilton, Capt., New Account of 
the East Indies 124 



1 88 



Index 



Hamirpur 82 

Hastinapura 42, 43 

Hastings, J., Dictionary of the Bible 

1 1 ; Diet. Religion and Ethics 

169 
Havilah 1 1 
Hector 140, 170 
Hecuba 170 
Hekataeus (of Miletus) 16, 19, 

20, 25, 26, 41, 66 ; Periegesis 19 
Hekatompylus 1, 115, 128 
Helen of Troy 140 
Heliodorus 162 
Heliogabalus 153 
Heliokles 73, 76, 77, 85 
Hellenic influence 170, 172 
Hellenism 161, 162 
Helmand 83 
Herakles 60, 61, 141 
Heraklitus 176 
Hercules, temple of, at Erythrae 

24 
Herdsmen 51, 52 
Hermaeus 84, 86 
Hermes 139 
Herodotus 3, 7, 16 ff., 30, 44, 89, 

158 
Heroopolite Gulf 89 
Hesidrus, the 64 
Himalayas 25, 108 
Hinayana Buddhism 168 
Hindu {and. variants) 20 
Hinduism 162 
Hindu Kush 8, 21, 38, 75, 125, 

161 
Hindus 58, 60 
Hippalus 109 ff., 120 
Hippokleides 25 
Hippokrates 172 
Hippostratus 86 
Hippuri (Kudremale) 150 
Hira 115 

Hiram, king of Tyre 10 
Hirth, F., China and the Roman 

Orient in, 115, 130 
Hiuen Tsiang 51, 59, 68, 118, 

143, 148, 149 
Hiuen Tsiang, Life of (trans, by 

S. Beal) 149 
Homer 18, 140, 156, 169 ff.; 

Iliad 140, 172; Odyssey 18 
Homerites 113 
Honorius 151, 152 
Hopkins, E. W., Great Epic of 

India 68 
Huan-ti 130 



Hue, Abbe 178 

Hue et Gabet, Voyages 179 

Hultzsch, Dr 100, 139 

Huns, White 148 

Huvishka 87 

Hydaspes, R. 34 

Hyderabad 119 

Hydreumata 90; Apollo 91; New 

9i 
Hylobioi (Vdnaprastha) 62, 176 
Hyparkhus, R. ( ? Ganges) 30 
Hyperboreans, the 25, 66 
Hyphasis, R. 33, 64 

Iamblichus 157 

Ibn J afar Almansur 179 

I chthyophagi 2 1 

inchiver (fryytpepis) 14 

India, coast of 131 

India and the Roman Empire 

101-154 
Indian Antiquary 164, 178 
Indian buildings 168 
Indian drama 169 ff. 
Indian literature 169 ff. 
Indian Ocean 19 
indigo 114 
Indo-Aryan village community 

52 
Indo-Parthian dynasty 84, 87 
Indo-Parthians 163, 167 
Indra 2, 61 
Indragnidatta 162 
Indus, R. 1, 2, 16, 18, 19, 30, 35, 

41, 44, 53, 78, 114, 117 
Intaphernes 25 
intercourse between India and 

the West 155 
Ionians 20 {see Yavana, Yonakas) 
Ipsus, battle of 92 
Iran 28 

Iranian deities 165 
Iranians 69, 163 
Irrawady delta 133 
Isaiah 3, 11, 20 
Isidore of Charax, Zradfioi UapdtKoi 

128 
Italy 98 
ivory 5, 10, 120, 123 

Jacobi, H., De HorcB Originibus 

174 
Jaigad 119 
Jaimi'ni Bhdrata 177 
Jains 60, 157 
jdmitra {didfxerpov) 174 



Index 



189 



Jamna, R. 42, 53, 64 

jangdla 122 

Jataka 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 168, 179, 

180 
Java 131, 134. 138, 139 
Javan 7 
Jews 176 
jewels 120 
Jifatin Islands 91 
Jihlam 34, 42 
Job, Book of 11 
John of Damascus, St 142 
Josephus, Ant. Jud. 11 
Journal of Philology 25, 180 
Journal of the Royal Asiatic 

Society 68, 100, 107, 118, 121, 

124, 151, 162, 163, 165, 166, 

171, 172 
Journal of the Royal Society of 

Arts 126 
Jovian 154 
Judaea 3, 10 
Julian 154 

Julius Caesar, De BelloGallico 159 
Justin 6, 37, 75, 76 
Justinian 116 
Justinus 151 

Kabul 17, 77, 84 

Kabul valley 83 

Kadphises I (Kujula) 84, 87, 

107, 108, 164; II (Wima) 87, 

109, 164 
Kaenitae (? Karwad) 119 
Kalanos 59, 108 
Kalasi 78 , 

Kalidasa 47. 170, 172, T74; Sa- 

kuntald 47 
Kalinadi 42 
Kalinga 139 
Kalinipaxa( ? Kanyakubjaor Kan- 

auj) 42, 64, 65 
Kalliatiae (? Kalian tiae) 19 
Kalyan 119, 148 
~Ka.ma.ra. (Khaberis emporium) 122 
Kampot (or Kang-Kao), R. 132 
Kamsa 177 
Kanarese dialect 140 
Kanauj 42 
Kane 113 
Kang-Kao, R. 132 
Kanheri 146 
Kanishka 79, 84, 87, 109, 164, 

165, 168, 171 
Kanyakubja 42 
Kapisa 72, 77 



Kappadokia, 2 

kara (taxes) 177 

Karachi 124 

Karla caves 85, 162 

Karmania no 

Karmanian Desert, the 1. 9, 16, 

70 
kdrppu (icapinov) 14, 30 
Karwad 119 
Karyanda 21, 158 
Kashgar 69, 115 
Kashmir (Kasyapa-mira) 16. 114, 

124 
Kasii 115 

Kaspapyrus 16, 19, 20 
Kacrcrirepos (kastira) 13 
Kathaei, the 59 
Kathiawar, 59, 71 
Kattigara (? Kian-chi) 133, 135, 

136 
Kausia 74 , 

Kautiliya Artha Sdstra 41, 67, 

68, 118 
Kautilya (or Chanakya) 67, 68 
Kaviri, R. 121, 122 
Kaye, J. W. 172 
Keith, A. B. 2 ; Pythagoras and 

Transmigration 156 
Kennedy, J. 2, 177 
Kerobothra (or Keralaputra) 120 
khadga (Kaprd^wov) 30 
Khaibar, the 43 
Khandahar 83 
Kharoshthi script 28, 32, 72 
Kian-chi '(and see Kattigara) 136 
Kings I 10, 13 
Kirata 27 
Kiratdsin 65 
Kirrhadii (= Kirata) 65 
Kleitarchus 60, 108 
Kling (= India) 139 
Koft (and see Koptos) 90 
kolandia 122 
Koniaki 93 
koph (kapi) n, 13 
Koptos (= Koft, q.v.) 90,91, in 
Kory, Cape 93, 131 
Kosmas Indikopleustes 5, 92, 

104, 124, 147 ff., 152; Christian 

Topography 104 
Kottona.ra.(K olatta-nadu, i.e. Telli- 

cherry) 112 
Krishna 177 
Kshaharata clan 84 
Kshaharata princes 167 
Kshattriya (caste) 50 ff. 



190 



Index 



Ktesias 8, 14, 16 ff., 29 ff., 33, 
66,155; Indika 26; Persika 27 

Ktesiphon 1, 115, 128 

Kubja 177 

Kuhn's Zeitschrift 2 

Kumdrasambhava 174 

Kumari, Cape 122 

Kumari or Devi 122 

Kvi>d/j.o\"yoi 66 

Kunaxa, battle of 26 

Kvvoic4<t>a\ci (= Svamukha) 66 

Kushan kings 84, 87, 103, 163, 
164 

Kushans 84, 101, 114, 161, 162, 
165, 167 

Laccadive islands (=Laksha dvipa) 

147 

Lacote, F., Essai sur Gunddhya 
et le Brihatkathd 180 

Ladak 24 

Lamaist ritual 178 

Lassen 29 ff., 42; Indische Al- 
therthumskunde 11, 17, 29, 123 

Law, N. N., The Ancient Hindu 
Polity 68 

Leipsius, Denkmaler 99 

lena 162 

Leo I 154; II 154 

Leuke Kome 90, 129 

Levant 115 

Levi, Sylvain, Theatre Indien 169 

Lhassa 178 

Liaka Kusiilaka 83, 87 

Libya, 19, 66 

Lillie, A., India in Primitive Chris- 
tianity 1 76 

Lindner, Die Iranische Flutsage 

. 1 5 
Linnaean Society, Trans, of 126 
Lixus, R. 98 
Llamas 179 

Loeb Classical Library 142 
Logos, doctrine of the 176 
Lorinser, Dr, Die Bhagavad Gitd 

178 
Lucium 29 
Lucretius 13 

lycium (berberry) 114, 125 
Lysias 86 

McCrindle, J. W., Ancient India 
8, 22, 23, 26, 66, 77, 142, 152, 

157 
Macdonell, A. A., Hist, of Sansk. 
Lit. 169; Vedic Index 15 



Macrinus 153 

Madeira 99 

Madhyadesa 82 

Madhyamika 80, 81, 117 

Madras 102, 122 

Madura 166 

Maes (Titianus) 115 

Maesolia (Masalia) 132 

Magadha 33, 38, 80 

Mahabharata 23, 27, 68, 172, 

178 
Mahapadma {see Xandrames) 33 
Mahdparinibbdna Sutta 82 
Mahdvamsa 4, 34, 35 
Mahoshadha Jdtaka 11 
Ma/c/)6/3ioi 66 

Malabar (Male) no, 148 
Malacca, Straits of 131 
Malala, Johannes 152 
Mdlavikdgnimitra 81 
Malay Peninsula 133 
malobathrum 123, 125 
Mai van 119 
Malwa, 117 

Mambarus ( ? Nahapana) 118 
Manar, gulf of 150 
Mandagora ( ? Bankot) 119 
Mandanis 62 
Mandeville, Sir John 26 
Mangalore 120 

Mangaroutha (Mangalore) 148 
Manicheans, the 138 
Manicheism 177 
Manu 53, 57; code of 138 
Marcellus, theatre of 109 
Marcion 154 
Marco Polo 149 
Marcus Aurelius 127, 129, 153 
Mardonius 27 
Marinus of Tyre 130, 132 
Marseilles 98 

Marshall, Sir J. H. 163, 165, 171 
Marlichora 30 
Marusthali 21 
Masalia 123 

Massacre of the Innocents 177 
Massagetae, the 22 
Masulipatam district 132 
Mathura 80, 81, 83, 87, 177 
Maues (= Moga = Moa?) 83, 86 
Mauretania 98 
Maurya Emperors 28, 39, 79, 81, 

117, 160 ff. 
Maurya Empire, the 29, 33 ff., 

49 ff., 70, ~i6i 
Maximinus 154 



Index 



191 



Medicine, Greek and Indian 172 
Mediterranean, the 4, 19, 88 
Mediterranean ports 8 
Megasthenes 22, 23, 26, 28, 33 ff., 

39 ff., 49 ff., 67, 68, 93, 105, 

109, 142, 174 
Megisba, lake 153 
Mekran coast 6, 21 ; desert 35 
Melizigara ( ? Jaigad) no, 119 
Memnonian Susa 48 
Menander 72, 766°., 82, 86, 114, 

116, 117, 162, 171, 172 
Merchant of Venice 180 
Mtj/jos (Bacchus legend) 61 
Meru, Mount 61 
Mesopotamia 128 
Metempsychosis (iraXiyyeueaia) 156, 

159, 177 
Meyer, E. 2 

Milinda (= Menander, q.v.) 77 
Milinda Panha 77 ff . ; Siamese 

version of the 82 
Milton 20 
Minayef, Prof. 4 
Minnagara (Min-nagara) 114 
Mitanni, in Kappadokia 2 
Mithradates 73 
Mitra 2 

Mitra, Rajendralal 139 
Moabite Stone, the 15 
Mocha (= Muza, q.v.) 94 
Moga, see Maues 
Moghal Empire 92 
Mommsen, Th., Provinces of the 

Roman. Empire 103 
Mon. Ancyranum 107 
Mongolian hillmen 123 
Mongolians 65 
Mov6/j.fx.a.Toi (= Ekaksha) 66 
Moon, temple of the, at Mugheir 3 
Morin, Jean, Dessin des Animaux 

en Gr&ce 9 
Moscha 113 

Moses, bishop of Adule 147 
Mricchakatikd 169 
Mudrd Rdkshasa 46, 47 
Mugheir 3 
Mukerji, R., Indian Shipping 5, 

121, 139 
Mukti (Emancipation) 175 
Miiller, Carl, Frag. Hist. Graec. 

Min. 39 
Miiller, Max 26 ; Physical Religion 

2; Selected Essays 142 
muslin 100, 117, 123 
Muza (= Mocha) 94, 95, 112 



Muziris (? Muyiri-kotta) (= Cran- 
ganore), Malabar coast, 108, 
in, 120, 121 

Myos Hormos (Mussel Harbour) 
91, 104, 106, in 

Myrrh 125, 126 

Nahapana 84, 87 
Naksh-i-Rastam inscriptions 17 
Nalanda monastery 143 
NANAIA (Anaitis, the goddess) 

164 
Nanda 177 

Nanda Raja (? Xandrames) 33 
Nandrus 37 
Narada 178 
nard (citronella) 114 
Nardostachys Jatamunsi 126 
Narmada, R. 116, 117 
Ndsatyd (the Asvins) 2 
Nasik 118; caves 85, 162 
Nations of India 147 
Naukratis 89 
Naastathmos (Alexander's Haven) 

35 
Nearchus 35, 55, 105 
Nebuchadnezzar I 3 ; II 7 
Negrais, Cape 132 
Nelkynda ( ? Nil-kantha) 108, 

in, 120, 121, 130 
Neo-platonism 138, 141, 142, 175 
Neo-platonists 175 
Neo-Sassanian Empire 151 
Nepal 65, 115 
Nero 104, 127, 153 
Nerva 153 

Nestorian Church 148, 177 
Nicolaus of Damascus 108 
Nikaea 34 
Nikias 86 

Nile, the 19, 30, 44, 88 ff. 
Nineveh 1, 7 
Noah 5 
Nubia 91 
Numerian 154 
Nushirvan, king of Persia 179 

Okelis in, 112 

'tticijTrodcs (= MovoffKeXot = M.ov6kw\<h) 

66 
Oldenburg, H. 2 
olibanum (al-luban) 125 
Oman, coast of 12 
Ommana 113 
Onesikritus 62, 105 
Ophir 1, 10 fL, 17 



192 



Index 



Opiae, the 19 

Oppert, G., Trade with Ancient 

India 126 
Orathra (Surashtra) 148 
Origen 138, 177" 
Orissa 123 
Orosius 74 
Orphic schools 156 
Orthagnes 87 
opvfa 14 

Ostasiatische Zeitschrift 9 
Othello 26 
Otho 153 
'Qt6k\ipoi 65 
Overseers ^Ettictkotoi) 54 
Oxus, R. 1, 9, 69, 70, 74, 75, 161 
Oxydrakae, the 61 
Oxyrhynchus 139 
Oxyrhynchus Papyri 139 
Ozene ( — Ujjain) 117 

Padaei, the ( ? Bhlls) 22 

Padiyur 101 

pdduka 168 

Pahlava tribes 83 

Paitdmaha Siddhdnta 173 

Paithan 119 

Pakhtu (Pashtu or Pathans) 17 

Pakhtu district 21 

Pakores 87 

Paktyike 16, 17 

Palaesimundus ( ? Palaisimanta) 

152 
Palaipatmai ( ? Dhabol or Pari- 

patana) 119 
Palibothra 65 
Palntyra 2, 128, 129 
Palura 131, 132 
Pamirs, the 71 
Pan 141 

Pancha T antra 179 
Panchala country 81 
panchdyats 56, 59, 67 
Pandion 107 
VLavboprf 66 
Pandya (Pandion) kings of Madura 

107, 120 
Pandyas 167 
Panemus 163 
Panini 32, 158 
Pan jab, the 1, 7, 21, 24, 34, 63, 

76, 108, 114, 160, 161, 165, 

167, 171 
Pantaenus 141 
Pantaleon 86 
Pariahs 58 



Paripatana 119 
Paropamisus 71 
Parthenon 170 
Parthia 69, 70, 89, 128 
Parthians 83, 129, 130 
Paruparaesanna (Paropamisus) 17 
Pas'chddangulaja 27, 66 
Patala ( Patalene ) ( = Bahmanabad ) 

34. 35 

Patala (Potana) 94, no, 114 

Pataliputra 38, 40, 41 ff.. 68, 79, 
80, 93 161 

Patanjali 81, 175 

Patika 83, 87, 163 

Pativedakd 51 

Patrokles 93 

Pattalene 71 

Paul of Alexandria 173, 176 

Paulisa Siddhdnta 173 

Pausanias 31 

Pax Romana 101 

Pegu 133 

Peithon 36 

pepper 102, 112, 120, 147, 151 

Periplus Maris Erythraei 3, 17, 
20, 47, 65, 94, 95, 106, no, 112, 
113, 116, 118, 130, 132 ff., 136, 
147, 152, 170 

Persepolis 68 

Persepolis inscriptions, the 17 

Persia 15, 148, 149, 178 

Persian Gulf 1, 6, 12, 17, 35, 113 

Persian period, the 16 ff. 

Peshawar 161, 165, 171 

Petra 90, 115, 128, 129 

'petri' (patra, leaves) 123 

Peukelaotis (Pushkaldvati) 42, 64 

Peukelaus 86 

Peutinger Tables 120, 121 

Pharaoh Necho 89 

Philip 154 

Philip, satrap of Parthia 35 

Philo 176 

Philosophers 5 1 

Philostratus 107, 146 

Philoxenus 86 

Phison, the (of Genesis) 148 

Phoenicians 6, 7, 12 

Photius 26, 29, 40; Bibliotheke 31 

Pillay, The Tamils eighteen hun- 
dred years ago 47, 121 

Pilpay (or Bidpai) 179 

pipali {triirepL) 14 

Plato 61, 157; Laws 158; Re- 
public 157 

Plato, Baktrian king 86 



Index 



193 



Plautus, Mercator 139 

Pliny 5, 20, 24, 39 ff., 66, 92, 

102, 104, 105, no, 112, 115, 

124, 126, 150, 152 
Plutarch 77, 82, 170; Vit. Alex. 

33, 141 ; Ser tortus 99 
TTvev/iiaTtKoi 177 
Poduca (Puducheri or Pondi- 

cherry) 122 
Polybius 74, 92 
Pompeii 105 
Poppoea 104 
Porphyry 141, 142, 174 
Port Said 94 
Port Sudan 92 
Portuguese 14 
Porus (= Paurava) 36, 40, 92, 

107 
Poseidonius 96 
Potana (= Patala, g.v.) 94 
Prakrit 171 
Prasii, the 33 
Prasii, country of the 152 
Prayaga 42, 43, 51, 56, 65 
Priam 140, 169 
Priaulx, O. de B., Indian Travel 

107, 140; Indian Embassies to 

Rome 107, 130, 140; Life of 

Apollonius of Tyana 140 
Probus 154 
Psalms, Book of n 
Pseudo-Kallisthenes 147, 148 

\pVXI-K0i I77 

Ptolemais Epitheron (Ptolemais 

of the Hunts) 91, 92 
Ptolemies, the 88-100 
Ptolemy Auletes 100 
Ptolemy Epiphanes 100 
Ptolemy Euergetes I 92, 100; 

II 100 
Ptolemy Lathyrus 97 
Ptolemy Philadelphus 18, 19, 39, 

48, 65, 71, 89, 90 ff., 100 
Ptolemy Philometor 100 
Ptolemy Philopator 94, 100 
Ptolemy Soter I 100; II 94, 100 
Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), 

Guide to Geography 90, 106, 

115, 130 ff. 
puchuk 124 
Pum-Savana 61 
"Punt, the land of" 10 
Puranic legends 160 
Pushyamitra 81 

Pygmies (Tpiairddi/xot) 27, 65, 66 
Pyrrhus 92 



Pythagoras 61 

Pythagorean philosophy 156,175; 
schools 156; "tabus" 157 

Rachia (Raja) 152 

Rajagriha 43 

Rajavula 83, 87 

Rajputana 81 

Rajputana desert, the 21 

Rdmdyana 22, 43, 141, 172 

Ramgarh, Greek amphitheatre at 

169 
Ran of Kacch 116 _ 

Rapson, E. J., Coins of the Andhras 

162; Indian Coins 167 
Ras abn Somer, bay of 91 
Rawlinson, H. G., Baktria 73 
Ray, P. C. 178 
Red Sea 1, 9, 10, 88, 90 
Reinaud, Relations de V Empire 

Romain av eel' A sie Oriental 130 
relic-worship 141, 176 
Rhinokolura (= El Arish) 90, 129 
Rhodopha ( ? Dabhai) 42, 64 
Ridge, the (Delhi) 52 
Rig Veda, 3, 4, 15, 156, 176 
" Romaka" (= Alexandria) 173 
Romakdkhyd prakirtitd 173 
Romaka Siddhdnta 173 
Romance History of Alexander 

147 
Roman Emperors 153, 163, 164 
Roman Empire 163 
Rome 101, 173 
Roth, Festgruss 15 
Rouse, W. H. D. 4 
Royal City, the 44 
Royal Councillors 54 
Royal Road (Maurya domains) 

29, 42, 64 
Royal Road (Persia) 43 
Royal Tombs of the Persian Kings 

68 
Ruanvelli, the great tope of 34 

Sabaites 113 

Sada 132 

Sagala ( ? Sialkot) 71, 79, 161, 

162, 171 
St Anthony 176 
St Bartholomew 141 
St Chrysostom, Orations 169 
St Jerome 138 
St John of Damascus, Barlaam 

and Josaphat 19, 142, 180 
St Josaphat 142 



194 



Index 



St Mark 126 

St Martin, Etude sur la Geog. 

Grecque 64 
St Matthew 141 

Saka (Sakae) tribe 75, 77, 82 ff., 
, 163 

Saka dynasties 83, 86, 103, 161, 
, 167 

Saka era 87 

Sakastene (= Seistan) 83 
Saketa 80, 81 
Sakli rites 61 
Sakuntald 47 
SAAHNH 165 
Sammurammat 8 
Samos 109 
Samudra Gupta 166 
Sanchi 165 

Sandales, see Sandanes 
Sandalwood 113 
Sandanes {Sundara Sdtakarni) 119, 

143, 146 
Sandbares 87 
Sandrakottus (= Chandragupta, 

q.v.) 24, 28, 29, 37 
sangdra (catamarans) 122 
Sankhy a system 177 
San letter, the 164 
Sanskrit literature 179 
Sapphara Metropolis 125 
sapphire, a gigantic 149 
Saraganus, the elder 119 
Sarikol, Stone Tower of 69, 115 
Sarmanes (see also Sramana) 60, 

62, 142 
Sassanian dynasty 150 
Sassanian Empire 166 
Satapaiha Brdhmana 15 
Sati 59 

Saussurea lappa 114, 124 
Sayce, A. H. 2, 3 ; Hibbert Lectures 

3; Science of Language 179 
Schliemann, H., Ilios 8 
Schwanbeck 23, 33, 40, 44, 49, 50 
Seistan (= Sakastene) 83 
Seleukids 29, 100 
Seleukus I 100; II (Kallinikus) 

100; III (Soter) 100; IV 

(Philopator) 100 
Seleukus Nikator 38, 39, 49, 64, 

9i. 93 
Semiramis 8, 27, 35 
Semitic Empires of W. Asia 16 
Semitic races 160 
Sen, K. A. 126 



Sennacherib 6, 114 

Septimius Severus 151, 153 

Septuagint, the 11 

Seres 43, 79, 152 

Sertorius 99 

Sesikrienae ( ? Vengurla) 119 

Sesostris 89 

Sewell, R., Roman Coins found in 

India 103, 121, 151 
Shalmaneser III 3 
Sheba 1 1 

shen habbin (ibhadanta), ivory 11 
shipwrights 53 
Siam, Gulf of 132, 133 
Sibae, the 61 

Sibor (Simylla or Chaul) 148 
Siddhdntas, five 173 
Sidon, 2, 128 

Sieladiba (Sinhala dvtpa) 149 
Sigertis 71 
Sigerus no 
Siladitya 51 

"silent barter" 124, 152 
silk 101, 115, 123, 128 
Silver Country 132, 134 
Sind 36, 114 
Sindhava 20 

Sindhu, "Indian cotton" 2 
Sindhu, R. 81 
Sinhalese merchants 124 
Sinhalese {or Lion people) 5, 149, 

153 
Sinus Aelaniticus 10 
Sita 141 

Siva 61, 141, 146 
Skeat, W. W., Oxford Chaucer 180 
Skiapodes, the 19, 26, 27, 66 
Skolex 30 
Skylax of Karyanda 16 ff., 24, 

30, 65, 96, in, 155, 158 
Skythians 161, 163 
Slavery 58. 
Smith, V. A. 107, 118; Early 

History of India 37, 47, 71, 83, 

121; Graeco-Roman Influence 

on Ancient Indian Civilization 

172 
Soanus, R. 81 
Sodasa 83, 87 
Sogdiana 75 
Sokotra 94, 148 
Sokotra (Dioscorida = Sukhd- 

dhdra-dvipa) 
Solinus 40 
Solomon n, 13 



Index 



195 



Soma juice, 58 

Somali coast, the 104 

Somaliland 9 

Son, R. 44, 45 

Sona, R. (or Hiranyabahu) 24 

Sonaparanta (Aurea Regio) 133 

Sopara 119 

Zuxpdpa (Ophir in the Septuagint) 

11 
Sophir, Coptic term for Southern 

India 11 
Sophokles 170; Antigone 171 
Sophon 99 

Soptama (Su-patana) 122 
Spalirises 87 

spices 102, 104, 120, 125, 126 
Spikenard (Nardostachys Jata- 

mansi) 120, 126 
Spooner, D. B. 68 
Sramana (or Buddhists, q.v.) 141, 

160 
Sramanaioi 176 
stacte 126 
Statira, stater 167 
Stein, A., Ancient Geography of 

Kasmir 17; Zoroastrian Deities 

on Indo-Scythian Coins 164 
Stobaeus, Physica 144 
"Stone Tower" of Sarikol 115 
Storax (Benzoin) 126 
Strabo 6, 8, 9, 22 ff., 39 ff., 58 ff., 

66, 77 ff., 89 ff., 104 ff., 115, 

129, 133, 137 
Strato 76, 77, 86 
Stromata, ed. Dindorf 141 
2rpoi/067ro5es 66 
stupa (or tope) 141, 165 
Styracaceae 126 
Subhagasena 92 
Sudan 92 

Siidra (caste) 50 ff. 
Suez (= Arsinoe, q.v.) 1, 2, 12, 

17, 18, 89, in 
Sulla 104 
Sumatra 131, 148 
Sumer 16 
Sunga kings 80 
Suppara 5, 11 
Surashtra (= Kathiawar and Surat 

districts) 71 
Surat 117 

Suryya Siddhantas 173 
Susa 26, 28 
Sutlej, R. 42 
Suvarnabhumi 5, 133 



Svetadvipa 178 

Swiss Guards 48 

Syagrus, Cape (Ras Fartak) no. 

113 

Syburtius 40 

Syrastrene (Surashtra) 117 

Syria 89, 101 

Syrian art 167 

Syrian Empire 93 

Tacitus 154 

tadi 30 

Takshasila (see Taxila) 162 

Tamluk 42 

Tamralipti 5, 123 

Tan j ore 9 

Tapropane (Tdmraparni) 149 

Tarn, W. W. "Hellenism in Bak- 

tria" 73 
Tarshish 7 

Tawney, C. H. 25, 81, 180 
Taxila 28, 29, 42, 43, 56, 59, 63, 

83,87; inscription 163 
teak 113 
Telang, K. T., trans, of Bhagavad 

Gitd 178 
Telephus 86 
Tellicherry 112 
Temala (or Tamala) 132 
temples, Assyrian 114; Chaldean 

114; rock 146 
Tennant, Emerson, Ceylon 153 
Ter (Tagara) 119 
Terebinthus 138, 142 
Thapsacus 9 
Thebaid, the 176 
Theodosius I 154; II 154 
Theophrastus, History of Plants 

124 
Therapeutae 176 
Thermopylae 27 
Thomas, the apostle 84 
Thrace 156 
Thracians 159 

Three Caskets, story of the 180 
"three gunas" 177 
"three qualities" 177 
thuki-im (tokei) n 
Tiastanes 117 
Tiberius 103, 153 
tigers 109 
Tigris, R. 128 
Tinavelly 14 
Tissa Wewa 153 
Titus 153 
Togarum (PDevgad) 119 



196 



Index 



Tokosanna, R. 133 

tortoise-shell 120 

Toy Cart 169 ff. 

Tpaxv^frvTes HO 

Trajan 109, 127, 129, 140, 153, 

163, 164 
Trans-Gangetic India 133 
Trial by Ordeal 144 
trikona (rpiycjvos) 174 
Trimurti, shrine of the 146 
Turkestan 148 
Tykta 63 

Tyrannoboas, see Auranoboas 
Tyre, 2, 7, 10, 89, 115, 128, 129 

Ucchanga Jdtaka 25 

Ujjain 56, 117, 173 

vKikoL 177 

Ummaga Jdtaka 12 

uplet 124 

"Ur of the Chaldees" 3 

Uttara-kuru (= Attakorae) 25, 66 

Vdch 176 

vaidurya {p-f/pvWos) 14 

Vaisya (caste) 50 ff. 

Valens 154 

Valerian 154 

Vallabhas of Gujarat 177 

Vdnaprastha 62 

Vaniy ambadi 1 o 1 

Varahamihira 173, 174; Brihat 
Samhitd 173; Hora Jndna 
174; Pancha Siddhdntikd 173 

Varuna 2 

Vasco da Gama 99, 102 

Vdsishtha Siddhdnta 173 

Vasudeva 87 

Vedabbha Jataka 180 

Vedas, the 156 

Veddas 124 

Vedic gods 2 

Vengi {i.e. Kalinga) dialect 139 

Vengurla 119 

Vergil, Georgics 116 

Vespasian 10^, 153 

vidushaka (parasite) 169 

Vijaya, prince, of Bengal 4 

Vikings 121 



Vikramaditya era 87 

Vilivayakura II 118 

Vishnu 15 

Vishnu Purdna 177 

vita (pimp) 169 

Vitellius 153 

Vizadrog 119 

Vonones 83, 87 

Von Schroder, L., Indiens Lit. und 

Cultuv 169, 174; Pythagoras 

und die Inder 158 

Watts, G., Commercial Products of 
India. 126 

Weber, A. 177,178; Indian Lite- 
rature 172; Indische Studien 
178; Sanskrit Literature 169 

White Huns 148 

Wilson, H. H., Ariana Antiqua 17 

Wima Kadphises 87 

Winckler, H. 2 

Windisch, E., Greek Influence on 
Indian Drama 169 

Xandrames (Mahapadma) 33 
Xerxes 27, 68 

Yavana, Yavani, 31, 38, 71, 
81 ff., 117, 121, 158, 169, 173 

Yavanapura (= Alexandria) 173 

Yavanikd 169 

Yoga doctrine of Patafijali 175 

Yogis 60 

Yonakas, "Yonas" 79 

Yueh-chi 75, 82, 84 

Yule, H 132; Cathay and the 
way Thither 131; Marco Polo 
126 

Zaba (Zabae) 132, 133 
Zamorin, of Calicut 102 
Zarathustrian influence 177 
Zarmanochegas (Sramandchdrya), 

Buddhist monk 107 * 
Zend Avesta 72 
Zeugma 128 
Zeus Ombnos 61 
Zodiac, signs of the 173 
Zoilus 86 



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